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Cereb Cortex. 2019 Mar 1;29(3):1305-1327. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhy245.

Cytoarchitectonic segregation of human posterior intraparietal and adjacent parieto-occipital sulcus and its relation to visuomotor and cognitive functions.

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C. and O. Vogt Institute for Brain Research, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1), Research Centre Jülich, Jülich, Germany.
JARA-BRAIN, Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance, 52425 Jülich, Germany.
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine, Brain & Behaviour (INM-7), Research Centre Jülich, Jülich, Germany.
Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Medical Faculty, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.


Human posterior intraparietal sulcus (pIPS) and adjacent posterior wall of parieto-occipital sulcus (POS) are functionally diverse, serving higher motor, visual and cognitive functions. Its microstructural basis, though, is still largely unknown. A similar or even more pronounced architectonical complexity, as described in monkeys, could be assumed. We cytoarchitectonically mapped the pIPS/POS in 10 human postmortem brains using an observer-independent, quantitative parcellation. 3D-probability maps were generated within MNI reference space and used for functional decoding and meta-analytic coactivation modeling based on the BrainMap database to decode the general structural-functional organization of the areas. Seven cytoarchitectonically distinct areas were identified: five within human pIPS, three on its lateral (hIP4-6) and two on its medial wall (hIP7-8); and two (hPO1, hOc6) in POS. Mediocaudal areas (hIP7, hPO1) were predominantly involved in visual processing, whereas laterorostral areas (hIP4-6, 8) were associated with higher cognitive functions, e.g. counting. This shift was mirrored by systematic changes in connectivity, from temporo-occipital to premotor and prefrontal cortex, and in cytoarchitecture, from prominent Layer IIIc pyramidal cells to homogeneous neuronal distribution. This architectonical mosaic within human pIPS/POS represents a structural basis of its functional and connectional heterogeneity. The new 3D-maps of the areas enable dedicated assessments of structure-function relationships.

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