The important mechanical parameters and their hierarchy in the growth and folding of the human brain have not been thoroughly understood. In this study, we developed a multiscale mechanical model to investigate how the interplay between initial geometrical undulations, differential tangential growth in the cortical plate, and axonal connectivity form and regulate the folding patterns of the human brain in a hierarchical order. To do so, different growth scenarios with bilayer spherical models that features initial undulations on the cortex and uniform or heterogeneous distribution of axonal fibers in the white matter were developed, statistically analyzed, and validated by the imaging observations. The results showed that the differential tangential growth is the inducer of cortical folding, and in a hierarchal order, high-amplitude initial undulations on the surface and axonal fibers in the substrate regulate the folding patterns and determine the location of gyri and sulci. The locations with dense axonal fibers after folding settle in gyri rather than sulci. The statistical results also indicated that there is a strong correlation between the location of positive (outward) and negative (inward) initial undulations and the locations of gyri and sulci after folding, respectively. In addition, the locations of 3-hinge gyral folds are strongly correlated with the initial positive undulations and locations of dense axonal fibers. As another finding, it was revealed that there is a correlation between the density of axonal fibers and local gyrification index, which has been observed in imaging studies but not yet fundamentally explained. This study is the first step in understanding the linkage between abnormal gyrification (surface morphology) and disruption in connectivity that has been observed in some brain disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Moreover, the findings of the study directly contribute to the concept of the regularity and variability of folding patterns in individual human brains.
Current brain mapping methods highly depend on the regularity, or commonality, of anatomical structure, by forcing the same atlas to be matched to different brains. As a result, individualized structural information can be overlooked. Recently, we conceptualized a new type of cortical folding pattern called the 3-hinge gyrus (3HG), which is defined as the conjunction of gyri coming from three directions. Many studies have confirmed that 3HGs are not only widely existing on different brains, but also possess both common and individual patterns. In this work, we put further effort, based on the identified 3HGs, to establish the correspondences of individual 3HGs. We developed a learning-based embedding framework to encode individual cortical folding patterns into a group of anatomically meaningful embedding vectors (cortex2vector). Each 3HG can be represented as a combination of these embedding vectors via a set of individual specific combining coefficients. In this way, the regularity of folding pattern is encoded into the embedding vectors, while the individual variations are preserved by the multi-hop combination coefficients. Results show that the learned embeddings can simultaneously encode the commonality and individuality of cortical folding patterns, as well as robustly infer the complicated many-to-many anatomical correspondences among different brains.more » « less
- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- Oxford University Press
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Cerebral Cortex
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- p. 5851-5862
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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