2019, Vol. 3, No. 1, Pages 124-137
© 2018 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license
Multiscale examination of cytoarchitectonic similarity and human brain connectivity
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The human brain comprises an efficient communication network, with its macroscale connectome organization argued to be directly associated with the underlying microscale organization of the cortex. Here, we further examine this link in the human brain cortex by using the ultrahigh-resolution BigBrain dataset; 11,660 BigBrain profiles of laminar cell structure were extracted from the BigBrain data and mapped to the MRI based Desikan–Killiany atlas used for macroscale connectome reconstruction. Macroscale brain connectivity was reconstructed based on the diffusion-weighted imaging dataset from the Human Connectome Project and cross-correlated to the similarity of laminar profiles. We showed that the BigBrain profile similarity between interconnected cortical regions was significantly higher than those between nonconnected regions. The pattern of BigBrain profile similarity across the entire cortex was also found to be strongly correlated with the pattern of cortico-cortical connectivity at the macroscale. Our findings suggest that cortical regions with higher similarity in the laminar cytoarchitectonic patterns have a higher chance of being connected, extending the evidence for the linkage between macroscale connectome organization and microscale cytoarchitecture.The human brain connectome organization has been suggested to associate with cytoarchitecture similarity. Here, we utilize the state-of-the-art ultrahigh-resolution BigBrain dataset and diffusion-weighted imaging dataset to examine this association. Our results show that cortical regions with higher cytoarchitecture similarity are more likely to be connected, as well as connected by stronger white matter tracts. This work further extends our understanding of the interaction between macroscale cortico-cortical connectivity organization and microscale cortical cytoarchitecture.