Neurodevelopmental Trajectories of the Human Cerebral Cortex

Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 6.34). 05/2008; 28(14):3586-94. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5309-07.2008
Source: PubMed


Understanding the organization of the cerebral cortex remains a central focus of neuroscience. Cortical maps have relied almost exclusively on the examination of postmortem tissue to construct structural, architectonic maps. These maps have invariably distinguished between areas with fewer discernable layers, which have a less complex overall pattern of lamination and lack an internal granular layer, and those with more complex laminar architecture. The former includes several agranular limbic areas, and the latter includes the homotypical and granular areas of association and sensory cortex. Here, we relate these traditional maps to developmental data from noninvasive neuroimaging. Changes in cortical thickness were determined in vivo from 764 neuroanatomic magnetic resonance images acquired longitudinally from 375 typically developing children and young adults. We find differing levels of complexity of cortical growth across the cerebrum, which align closely with established architectonic maps. Cortical regions with simple laminar architecture, including most limbic areas, predominantly show simpler growth trajectories. These areas have clearly identified homologues in all mammalian brains and thus likely evolved in early mammals. In contrast, polysensory and high-order association areas of cortex, the most complex areas in terms of their laminar architecture, also have the most complex developmental trajectories. Some of these areas are unique to, or dramatically expanded in primates, lending an evolutionary significance to the findings. Furthermore, by mapping a key characteristic of these development trajectories (the age of attaining peak cortical thickness) we document the dynamic, heterochronous maturation of the cerebral cortex through time lapse sequences ("movies").

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    • "Indeed, developmental differences account for much of the variation in fMRI activation patterns between non-depressed adults and adolescents during emotion processing (Cho et al., 2012). Furthermore, cortical thickness of distinct brain regions develops differently depending on their organization and function (Huttenlocher and Dabholkar, 1997; Shaw et al., 2008). Specifically, changes in the composition of the insular cortex during adolescence correspond to improved emotional regulatory skills and refinement of functioning such as improved impulsecontrol (Sisk and Zehr, 2005; Steinberg et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disability worldwide and occurs commonly first during adolescence. The insular cortex (IC) plays an important role in integrating emotion processing with interoception and has been implicated recently in the pathophysiology of adult and adolescent MDD. However, no studies have yet specifically examined the IC in adolescent MDD during processing of faces in the sad- happy continuum. Thus, the aim of the present study is to investigate the IC during sad and happy face processing in adolescents with MDD compared to healthy controls (HCL). Methods: Thirty-one adolescents (22 female) with MDD and 36 (23 female) HCL underwent a well- validated emotional processing fMRI paradigm that included sad and happy face stimuli. Results: The MDD group showed significantly less differential activation of the anterior/middle insular cortex (AMIC) in response to sad versus happy faces compared to the HCL group. AMIC also showed greater functional connectivity with right fusiform gyrus, left middle frontal gyrus, and right amygdala/parahippocampal gyrus in the MDD compared to HCL group. Moreover, differential activation to sad and happy faces in AMIC correlated negatively with depression severity within the MDD group. Limitations: Small age-range and cross-sectional nature precluded assessment of development of the AMIC in adolescent depression. Conclusions: Given the role of the IC in integrating bodily stimuli with conscious cognitive and emotional processes, our findings of aberrant AMIC function in adolescent MDD provide a neuroscientific rationale for targeting the AMIC in the development of new treatment modalities.
    Journal of Affective Disorders 01/2016; 178. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2015.03.012 · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    • "The current sample were considerably older (mean age = 14 years, 0 months; age range: 10.2– 16.9), whilst De Brito et al. (2009) studied a younger group (mean age = 11 years, 7 months; age range: 10.0–13.3). These previous results were interpreted as reflecting delayed cortical maturation in the CP/HCU sample relative to the typically observed pattern of GM reduction with age (Gogtay et al. 2004; Shaw et al. 2008). Delayed cortical maturation is common to several developmental disorders (Shaw et al. 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic, behavioural and functional neuroimaging studies have revealed that different vulnerabilities characterise children with conduct problems and high levels of callous-unemotional traits (CP/HCU) compared with children with conduct problems and low callous-unemotional traits (CP/LCU). We used voxel-based morphometry to study grey matter volume (GMV) in 89 male participants (aged 10-16), 60 of whom exhibited CP. The CP group was subdivided into CP/HCU (n = 29) and CP/LCU (n = 31). Whole-brain and regional GMV were compared across groups (CP vs. typically developing (TD) controls (n = 29); and CP/HCU vs. CP/LCU vs. TD). Whole-brain analyses showed reduced GMV in left middle frontal gyrus in the CP/HCU group compared with TD controls. Region-of-interest analyses showed reduced volume in bilateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in the CP group as a whole compared with TD controls. Reduced volume in left OFC was found to be driven by the CP/HCU group only, with significant reductions relative to both TD controls and the CP/LCU group, and no difference between these latter two groups. Within the CP group left OFC volume was significantly predicted by CU traits, but not conduct disorder symptoms. Reduced right anterior cingulate cortex volume was also found in CP/HCU compared with TD controls. Our results support previous findings indicating that GMV differences in brain regions central to decision-making and empathy are implicated in CP. However, they extend these data to suggest that some of these differences might specifically characterise the subgroup with CP/HCU, with GMV reduction in left OFC differentiating children with CP/HCU from those with CP/LCU.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10802-015-0073-0 · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    • "Nevertheless, we observed variations between the dyslexic and the control groups regarding the links between structural and functional asymmetries. After controlling for non-verbal IQ and chronological age (i.e., controlling for cortical thinning due to maturation; Magnotta et al. 1999; Shaw et al. 2008), we observed that the cortical thickness asymmetries and pruning were linked to a stronger phonemic-rate (30 Hz) sensitivity in skilled readers, but to a stronger syllabic-rate (4 Hz) sensitivity in dyslexic readers. Thus, the left auditory regions might be specialized for processing phonological units of different sizes (phoneme vs. syllable) in skilled and dyslexic readers. "
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    ABSTRACT: Whether phonological deficits in developmental dyslexia are associated with impaired neural sampling of auditory information at either syllabic- or phonemic-rates is still under debate. In addition, whereas neuroanatomical alterations in auditory regions have been documented in dyslexic readers, whether and how these structural anomalies are linked to auditory sampling and reading deficits remains poorly understood. In the present study, we measured auditory neural synchronization at different frequencies corresponding to relevant phonological spectral components of speech in children and adults with and without dyslexia, using magnetoencephalography. Furthermore, structural MRI was employed to estimate cortical thickness of the auditory cortex of participants. Dyslexics showed atypical brain synchronization at both syllabic (slow) and phonemic (fast) rates. Interestingly, while a left hemispheric asymmetry in cortical thickness was functionally related to a stronger left hemispheric lateralization of neural synchronization to stimuli presented at the phonemic rate in skilled readers, the same anatomical index in dyslexics was related to a stronger right hemispheric dominance for neural synchronization to syllabic-rate auditory stimuli. These data suggest that the acoustic sampling deficit in development dyslexia might be linked to an atypical specialization of the auditory cortex to both low and high frequency amplitude modulations.
    Human Brain Mapping 09/2015; DOI:10.1002/hbm.22986 · 5.97 Impact Factor
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