Event Abstract

Cross-species prediction of macroscale connectivity of mammalian cortices

  • 1 UKE, Institute for Computational Neuroscience, Germany

Mapping and understanding the blueprint of the wiring of the brain at the micro-, meso-, and macroscale level is a central theme in neuroscience. In order to understand the cortical connectivity organization of mammals, numerous studies have mapped the wiring of different cortical areas in species from different orders such as carnivora, rodentia, human and non-human primates. Qualitative observations in the macaque cortex suggest that the cytoarchitecture of cortical areas is closely related to fundamental connectional features like the existence of connections and their laminar patterns. Based on these observations, in a series of separate previous investigations we analyzed the mouse, cat, macaque monkey and human connectomes. These studies confirmed that cytoarchitectonic similarity, together with physical distance, constitutes a wiring principle with a potential mammalian-general scope. In the current study we aimed at explicitly demonstrating this generalizability by using all available mammalian connectomes and predicting the macroscale connectome of one species from cytoarchitectonic features and physical distances from another species. This analysis also addressed if the generalization of the wiring principles depends on the phylogenetic proximity of the examined species. The results demonstrate successful cross-species predictions of the existence and laminar patterns of connections (for instance predicting laminar origin of connections in the cat cortex from cytoarchitectonic information on macaque monkey cortical areas), hence explicitly demonstrating the mammalian-general character of the cytoarchitecture-based wiring principle. Moreover, the effect of this principle does not seem to depend on the phylogenetic distance of the examined species. Lastly, the current approach allows the prediction of laminar patterns in humans at a whole-cortex level, information that can not be extracted by current in vivo imaging methods. In sum, the structural connectivity skeleton of the mammalian brain, important for healthy brain functioning, appears to a large extent to be shaped based on a common blueprint, possibly due to evolutionary conserved neurodevelopmental mechanisms.


This work was supported by an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship to AG and funding by the German Research Council DFG to CCH (SFB 936/A1,Z3; TRR169/A2).

Keywords: wiring principles, laminar patterns, connectome, tract-tracing, Cytoarchitecture

Conference: Neuroinformatics 2016, Reading, United Kingdom, 3 Sep - 4 Sep, 2016.

Presentation Type: Poster

Topic: General neuroinformatics

Citation: Goulas A and Hilgetag CC (2016). Cross-species prediction of macroscale connectivity of mammalian cortices. Front. Neuroinform. Conference Abstract: Neuroinformatics 2016. doi: 10.3389/conf.fninf.2016.20.00023

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Received: 27 Apr 2016; Published Online: 18 Jul 2016.

* Correspondence: Dr. Alexandros Goulas, UKE, Institute for Computational Neuroscience, Hamburg, Germany, alexandros.goulas@yahoo.com

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