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Developmental and evolutionary effects on brain organization are complex, yet linked, as evidenced by the correspondence in cortical area expansion across these vastly different time scales. However, it is still not possible to study concurrently the ontogeny and phylogeny of cortical areal connections, which is arguably more relevant to brain function than allometric measurements. Here, we propose a novel framework that allows the integration of structural connectivity maps from humans (adults and neonates) and nonhuman primates (macaques) onto a common space. We use white matter bundles to anchor the common space and use the uniqueness of cortical connection patterns to these bundles to probe area specialization. This enabled us to quantitatively study divergences and similarities in connectivity over evolutionary and developmental scales, to reveal brain maturation trajectories, including the effect of premature birth, and to translate cortical atlases between diverse brains. Our findings open new avenues for an integrative approach to imaging neuroanatomy.

Original publication




Journal article


Sci Adv

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