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Bibl Anat. 1986;(28):53-78.

Volumetric development of the fetal telencephalon, cerebral cortex, diencephalon, and rhombencephalon including the cerebellum in man.


Fresh volumes of the human telencephalon, cerebral cortex, diencephalon, and of the rhombencephalon including cerebellum were determined in a series of 10 normal specimens ranging in age from 63 to 176 days after conception. The volumetric growth of these parts shows a nonlinear dependence on age with a smaller increase during the 3d ontogenetic month and a stronger increase from the 4th month on. These data were analyzed together with previous measurements of 28 brains taken from the Yakovlev Collection in Washington, D.C., and the Vogt Collection in Düsseldorf. These brains range in age from 137 to 22,900 days after conception. These samples were reproduced in a model using sigmoid logistic functions. The entire brain and all analyzed parts show a monotonous growth. The individual regions develop heterochronously. The diencephalon is the first part to reach its ideal volume, with a main growth spurt between 100 and 420 days after conception. The rhombencephalon including the cerebellum is the last, with its main growth spurt between 240 and 650 days after conception. The growth of the entire brain is determined to a great extent by that of the telencephalon, having a main growth spurt between 175 and 580 days after conception. The prenatal growth is described separately with the asymmetric sigmoid function according to Gompertz. This yields a better approximation of the data collected from the early prenatal period.

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