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Cereb Cortex. 2012 Dec;22(12):2831-9. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhr361. Epub 2011 Dec 20.

Axonal fiber terminations concentrate on gyri.

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Department of Automatic Control, School of Automation, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an 710072, China.


Convoluted cortical folding and neuronal wiring are 2 prominent attributes of the mammalian brain. However, the macroscale intrinsic relationship between these 2 general cross-species attributes, as well as the underlying principles that sculpt the architecture of the cerebral cortex, remains unclear. Here, we show that the axonal fibers connected to gyri are significantly denser than those connected to sulci. In human, chimpanzee, and macaque brains, a dominant fraction of axonal fibers were found to be connected to the gyri. This finding has been replicated in a range of mammalian brains via diffusion tensor imaging and high-angular resolution diffusion imaging. These results may have shed some lights on fundamental mechanisms for development and organization of the cerebral cortex, suggesting that axonal pushing is a mechanism of cortical folding.

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