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PLoS One. 2014 Jan 15;9(1):e84914. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084914. eCollection 2014.

Adolescent brain maturation and cortical folding: evidence for reductions in gyrification.

Author information

1
Department of Neurophysiology, Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt am Main, Germany ; Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI) for Neuroscience in Cooperation with Max Planck Society, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
2
Department of Neurophysiology, Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
3
Department of Neurocognitive Psychology, Institute of Psychology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany ; Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
4
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
5
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea ; School of Computing Science and Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle, United Kingdom.
6
Department of Neurophysiology, Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt am Main, Germany ; Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI) for Neuroscience in Cooperation with Max Planck Society, Frankfurt am Main, Germany ; Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
7
Department of Neurophysiology, Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt am Main, Germany ; Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI) for Neuroscience in Cooperation with Max Planck Society, Frankfurt am Main, Germany ; Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Evidence from anatomical and functional imaging studies have highlighted major modifications of cortical circuits during adolescence. These include reductions of gray matter (GM), increases in the myelination of cortico-cortical connections and changes in the architecture of large-scale cortical networks. It is currently unclear, however, how the ongoing developmental processes impact upon the folding of the cerebral cortex and how changes in gyrification relate to maturation of GM/WM-volume, thickness and surface area. In the current study, we acquired high-resolution (3 Tesla) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data from 79 healthy subjects (34 males and 45 females) between the ages of 12 and 23 years and performed whole brain analysis of cortical folding patterns with the gyrification index (GI). In addition to GI-values, we obtained estimates of cortical thickness, surface area, GM and white matter (WM) volume which permitted correlations with changes in gyrification. Our data show pronounced and widespread reductions in GI-values during adolescence in several cortical regions which include precentral, temporal and frontal areas. Decreases in gyrification overlap only partially with changes in the thickness, volume and surface of GM and were characterized overall by a linear developmental trajectory. Our data suggest that the observed reductions in GI-values represent an additional, important modification of the cerebral cortex during late brain maturation which may be related to cognitive development.

PMID:
24454765
PMCID:
PMC3893168
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0084914
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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