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The geometric structure of the brain fiber pathways.

Abstract

The structure of the brain as a product of morphogenesis is difficult to reconcile with the observed complexity of cerebral connectivity. We therefore analyzed relationships of adjacency and crossing between cerebral fiber pathways in four nonhuman primate species and in humans by using diffusion magnetic resonance imaging. The cerebral fiber pathways formed a rectilinear three-dimensional grid continuous with the three principal axes of development. Cortico-cortical pathways formed parallel sheets of interwoven paths in the longitudinal and medio-lateral axes, in which major pathways were local condensations. Cross-species homology was strong and showed emergence of complex gyral connectivity by continuous elaboration of this grid structure. This architecture naturally supports functional spatio-temporal coherence, developmental path-finding, and incremental rewiring with correlated adaptation of structure and function in cerebral plasticity and evolution.

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  • Authors

    Wedeen VJ, Rosene DL, Wang R, Dai G, Mortazavi F, Hagmann P, Kaas JH, Tseng WY

    Source

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 335:6076 2012 Mar 30 pg 1628-34

    MeSH

    Animals
    Aotidae
    Axons
    Biological Evolution
    Brain Mapping
    Callithrix
    Cerebral Cortex
    Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
    Galago
    Humans
    Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
    Imaging, Three-Dimensional
    Macaca mulatta
    Nerve Fibers
    Neural Pathways
    Prosencephalon
    Species Specificity

    Pub Type(s)

    Comparative Study
    Journal Article
    Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
    Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    22461612