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Comparing brains across individuals and species via cortical folding patterns

April/22/2021 @ 12:00 - 14:30

KepKee and Olivier Coulon


A prominent feature of the human cerebral cortex is the presence of folds, or sulci. Even though cortical sulci look very different from one person to another, sulcal organisation is not at all random: it follows a topography that is highly conserved across human and nonhuman primates. Robust sulci-function relationships have mostly been demonstrated in the primary sulci (e.g. the central sulcus where the motor cortex is found), as these sulci tend to be more stable across individuals in terms of their shape, and relative positions on the cortex. In contrast, sulci-function links in secondary and tertiary sulci have been harder to study due to large inter-individual variabilities.

With the advent of modern neuroimaging methods and an accumulation of MRI brain scans, it is now possible to characterize the spatial, geometric, and topological variations of cortical sulci across many individuals and species, and to study their links to brain function. This promising line of work has revealed novel relationships between sulci and functional brain areas at the individual level beyond primary sulci, that are generalised across primates. Such powerful sulci-function links provide an important means of bridging brains across individuals and species for comparisons.

This seminar aims to provide an overview of :

  1. How sulcal anatomy is important for revealing brain structure-function relationships across individuals and species, and;
  2. The current methods and tools developed in our team for performing such sulcal analyses on MRI data.

In this seminar, we will present a series of three talks :

  • Talk 1: I will discuss recent evidence demonstrating that sulcal anatomy is an important means for localising functional areas across individuals and species.
  • Talk 2: Olivier and I will present a novel method that allows the cross-mapping of cortical surfaces across individuals, and species, based on common sulci for brain comparisons.
  • Talk 3: Finally, Olivier will present ongoing research about the links between the morphology of cortical folds, anatomical connectivity and function.

Video :



12:00 - 14:30
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