A tripartite view of the posterior cingulate cortex

Brett L. Foster, Seth R. Koslov, Lyndsey Aponik-Gremillion, Megan E. Monko, Benjamin Y. Hayden, Sarah R. Heilbronner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) is one of the least understood regions of the cerebral cortex. By contrast, the anterior cingulate cortex has been the subject of intensive investigation in humans and model animal systems, leading to detailed behavioural and computational theoretical accounts of its function. The time is right for similar progress to be made in the PCC given its unique anatomical and physiological properties and demonstrably important contributions to higher cognitive functions and brain diseases. Here, we describe recent progress in understanding the PCC, with a focus on convergent findings across species and techniques that lay a foundation for establishing a formal theoretical account of its functions. Based on this converging evidence, we propose that the broader PCC region contains three major subregions — the dorsal PCC, ventral PCC and retrosplenial cortex — that respectively support the integration of executive, mnemonic and spatial processing systems. This tripartite subregional view reconciles inconsistencies in prior unitary theories of PCC function and offers promising new avenues for progress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-189
Number of pages17
JournalNature Reviews Neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
B.L.F. is supported by NIH R01MH129439 and NIH R01MH116914; B.Y.H. is supported by NIH R01DA038615 and R01MH125377; S.R.H. is supported by NIH R01MH118257.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Springer Nature Limited.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


Dive into the research topics of 'A tripartite view of the posterior cingulate cortex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this