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Science. 2012 Mar 30;335(6076):1628-34. doi: 10.1126/science.1215280.

The geometric structure of the brain fiber pathways.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical School and the MGH/Massachussetts Institute of Technology, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA. van@nmr.mgh.harvard.edu

Erratum in

  • Science. 2012 May 11;336(6082):670.

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.

PMID:
22461612
PMCID:
PMC3773464
DOI:
10.1126/science.1215280
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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