David C. Van Essen's research while affiliated with Washington University in St. Louis and other places

Publications (145)

Article
Full-text available
Significance Brain structures change shape dramatically during development. Elucidating the mechanisms of morphogenesis provides insights relevant to understanding brain function in health and disease. The tension-based morphogenesis (TBM) hypothesis posits that mechanical tension along axons, dendrites, and glial processes contributes to many aspe...
Preprint
Full-text available
About a quarter of human cerebral cortex is tiled with maps of the visual field. These maps can be measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while subjects view spatially modulated visual stimuli, also known as 'retinotopic mapping'. One of the datasets collected by the Human Connectome Project (HCP) involved ultra-high-field (7 Te...
Article
Purpose: To develop and evaluate a novel processing framework for the relative quantification of myelin content in cerebral white matter (WM) regions from brain MRI data via a computed ratio of T1 to T2 weighted intensity values. Data: We employed high resolution (1mm(3) isotropic) T1 and T2 weighted MRI from 46 (28 male, 18 female) neonate subj...
Conference Paper
Background: Cerebral cortex is the dominant structure of the human brain, and abnormalities in cortical circuitry are implicated in autism as well as many other brain disorders. In order to interpret disease-related abnormalities, it is important to gain a deeper understanding of normal brain circuitry, its variability across individuals, and its...
Article
Full-text available
Small-world networks provide an appealing description of cortical architecture owing to their capacity for integration and segregation combined with an economy of connectivity. Previous reports of low-density interareal graphs and apparent small-world properties are challenged by data that reveal high-density cortical graphs in which economy of con...
Article
The past 25 years have seen great progress in parcellating the cerebral cortex into a mosaic of many distinct areas in mice, monkeys, and humans. Quantitative studies of interareal connectivity have revealed unexpectedly many pathways and a wide range of connection strengths in mouse and macaque cortex. In humans, advances in analyzing "structural"...
Article
Recent advances in neuroscience have engendered interest in large-scale brain networks. Using a consistent database of cortico-cortical connectivity, generated from hemisphere-wide, retrograde tracing experiments in the macaque, we analyzed interareal weights and distances to reveal an important organizational principle of brain connectivity. Using...
Article
We propose a novel computational strategy to partition the cerebral cortex into disjoint, spatially contiguous and functionally homogeneous parcels. The approach exploits spatial dependency in the fluctuations observed with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) during rest. Single subject parcellations are derived in a two stage procedure in...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the influence of interareal distance on connectivity patterns in a database obtained from the injection of retrograde tracers in 29 areas distributed over six regions (occipital, temporal, parietal, frontal, prefrontal, and limbic). One-third of the 1,615 pathways projecting to the 29 target areas were reported only recently and dee...
Article
Full-text available
Retrograde tracer injections in 29 of the 91 areas of the macaque cerebral cortex revealed 1,615 interareal pathways, a third of which have not previously been reported. A weight index (extrinsic fraction of labeled neurons [FLNe]) was determined for each area-to-area pathway. Newly found projections were weaker on average compared with the known p...
Article
Full-text available
Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging has become a powerful tool for the study of functional networks in the brain. Even "at rest," the brain's different functional networks spontaneously fluctuate in their activity level; each network's spatial extent can therefore be mapped by finding temporal correlations between its different subr...
Article
The Human Connectome Project (HCP) is an ambitious 5-year effort to characterize brain connectivity and function and their variability in healthy adults. This review summarizes the data acquisition plans being implemented by a consortium of HCP investigators who will study a population of 1200 subjects (twins and their non-twin siblings) using mult...
Article
The opportunity to explore the human connectome using cutting-edge neuroimaging methods has elicited widespread interest. How far will the field be able to progress in deciphering long-distance connectivity patterns and in relating differences in connectivity to phenotypic characteristics in health and disease? We discuss the daunting nature of thi...
Article
The Human Connectome Project (HCP) offers an exciting opportunity to characterize brain circuitry and its variability in healthy adults. A consortium of investigators led by Washington University, University of Minnesota recently began a 5-year project to characterize the human connectome in a large cohort of twins and their non-twin siblings. Stru...
Article
Caret software is widely used for analyzing and visualizing many types of fMRI data, often in conjunction with experimental data from other modalities. This article places Caret's development in a historical context that spans three decades of brain mapping--from the early days of manually generated flat maps to the nascent field of human connectom...
Article
A crucial step towards quantitatively understanding biological vision is to accurately characterize the input/output characteristics of retinal ganglion cells. Building on a modeling framework introduced by J.Victor, we have constructed spiking models of primate P and M ganglion cells. The driving inputs to our model cells are time-varying images....
Article
Many neurons in V2 are orientation selective, but the possibility that orientation selectivity is not uniform across the receptive field has received scant attention. To better understand the role of V2 neurons in the analysis of orientation and orientation contrast, we examined the orientation tuning of V2 neurons at different locations within the...
Article
Full-text available
To what extent cortical pathways show significant weight differences and whether these differences are consistent across animals (thereby comprising robust connectivity profiles) is an important and unresolved neuroanatomical issue. Here we report a quantitative retrograde tracer analysis in the cynomolgus macaque monkey of the weight consistency o...
Article
Full-text available
Neuroimaging experiments in humans suggest that regions in parietal cortex and along the posterior midline are functionally connected to the medial temporal lobe and are active during memory retrieval. It is unknown whether macaques have a similar network. We examined functional connectivity in isoflurane-anesthetized macaques to identify a network...
Article
Full-text available
Previous neuroimaging studies have implicated the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and nearby brain regions in deception. This is consistent with the hypothesis that lying involves the executive control system. To date, the nature of the contribution of different aspects of executive control to deception, however, remains unclear. In the present study, we u...
Article
Cerebral cortical development involves complex changes in cellular architecture and connectivity that occur at regionally varying rates. Using diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DTI) to analyze cortical microstructure, previous studies have shown that cortical maturation is associated with a progressive decline in water diffusion anisotro...
Article
Full-text available
this paper, which depend solely on the overall response to each bar flash and not on the precise temporal relationship between stimulus events and spikes. Analysis was restricted to bar presentations beginning at least 500 msec before target ring deletion (and catch trials, with deletions at other ring positions, were excluded entirely), so that th...
Article
Stereopsis, the perception of depth from small differences between the images in the two eyes, provides a rich model for investigating the cortical construction of surfaces and space. Although disparity-tuned cells have been found in a large number of areas in macaque visual cortex, stereoscopic processing in these areas has never been systematical...
Article
Full-text available
Surface reconstructions of the cerebral cortex are increasingly widely used in the analysis and visualization of cortical structure, function and connectivity. From a neuroinformatics perspective, dealing with surface–related data poses a number of challenges. These include the multiplicity of configurations in which surfaces are routinely viewed (...
Article
Full-text available
The authors describe and illustrate an integrated trio of software programs for carrying out surface-based analyses of cerebral cortex. The first component of this trio, SureFit (Surface Reconstruction by Filtering and Intensity Transformations), is used primarily for cortical segmentation, volume visualization, surface generation, and the mapping...
Article
We have used surface-based atlases of the cerebral cortex to analyze the functional organization of visual cortex in humans and macaque monkeys. The macaque atlas contains multiple partitioning schemes for visual cortex, including a probabilistic atlas of visual areas derived from a recent architectonic study, plus summary schemes that reflect a co...
Article
We studied the corticocortical connections of architectonically defined areas of parietal and temporoparietal cortex, with emphasis on areas in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) that are implicated in visual and somatosensory integration. Retrograde tracers were injected into selected areas of the IPS, superior temporal sulcus, and parietal lobule. Th...
Article
The intraparietal sulcus (IPS) of the macaque monkey contains numerous areas associated with different aspects of cortical function, including motor control as well as visual, somatosensory, vestibular, and possibly auditory processing. This study focuses largely on the architectonic organization of areas within and near the IPS, but also examines...
Article
We studied the corticocortical connections of architectonically defined areas of parietal and temporoparietal cortex, with emphasis on areas in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) that are implicated in visual and somatosensory integration. Retrograde tracers were injected into selected areas of the IPS, superior temporal sulcus, and parietal lobule. Th...
Article
Cells in area V1 of the anesthetized macaque monkey were stimulated with large texture patterns composed of homogeneous regions of line elements (texels) with different orientations. To human observers, such patterns appear to segregate, with the percept of sharp boundaries between texture regions. Our objective was to investigate whether the bound...
Article
To explore the role of visual area V2 in shape analysis, we studied the responses of neurons in area V2 of the alert macaque using a set of 128 grating and geometric line stimuli that varied in their shape characteristics and geometric complexity. Simple stimuli included oriented bars and sinusoidal gratings; complex stimuli included angles, arcs,...
Article
This paper describes methods for white matter segmentation in brain images and the generation of cortical surfaces from the segmentations. We have developed a system that allows a user to start with a brain volume, obtained by modalities such as MRI or cryosection, and constructs a complete digital representation of the cortical surface. The method...
Article
We studied the effects of contextual modulation in area V1 of anesthetized macaque monkeys. In 146 cells, responses to a single line over the center of the receptive field were compared with those to full texture patterns in which the center line was surrounded by similar lines at either the same orientation (uniform texture) or the orthogonal orie...
Article
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and surface-based representations of brain activity were used to compare the functional anatomy of two tasks, one involving covert shifts of attention to peripheral visual stimuli, the other involving both attentional and saccadic shifts to the same stimuli. Overlapping regional networks in parietal, fro...
Article
Under natural viewing conditions primates make frequent exploratory eye movements across complex scenes. We recorded neural activity of 62 cells in visual areas V1, V2 and V4 in an awake behaving monkey that freely viewed natural images. About half of the cells studied showed a modulation in firing rate following some of the eye movements made duri...
Article
Under natural viewing conditions primates make frequent exploratory eye movements across complex scenes. We recorded neural activity of 62 cells in visual areas V1, V2 and V4 in an awake behaving monkey that freely viewed natural images. About half of the cells studied showed a modulation in firing rate following some of the eye movements made duri...
Article
Under natural viewing conditions primates make frequent exploratory eye movements across complex scenes. We recorded neural activity of 62 cells in visual areas V1, V2 and V4 in an awake behaving monkey that freely viewed natural images. About half of the cells studied showed a modulation in firing rate following some of the eye movements made duri...
Article
We have analyzed the geometry, geography, and functional organization of human cerebral cortex using surface reconstructions and cortical flat maps of the left and right hemispheres generated from a digital atlas (the Visible Man). The total surface area of the reconstructed Visible Man neocortex is 1570 cm2 (both hemispheres), approximately 70% of...
Article
Full-text available
In primate visual area V2, histochemical staining for cytochrome oxidase (CO) reveals a tripartite pattern of densely labeled thick and thin stripes separated by pale interstripes. This modularity is believed to be related to functionally distinct processing streams that course through the hierarchy of visual areas. Here, we studied the overall pat...
Article
Focal visual attention typically produces enhanced perceptual processing at the psychological level and relatively stronger neural responses at the physiological level. A longstanding mechanistic question is whether these attentional effects pertain specifically to the attended (target) object or to the region of space it occupies. We show here tha...
Article
The cortical connections of visual area 3 (V3) and the ventral posterior area (VP) in the macaque monkey were studied by using combinations of retrograde and anterograde tracers. Tracer injections were made into V3 or VP following electrophysiological recording in and near the target area. The pattern of ipsilateral cortical connections was analyze...
Article
Many structural features of the mammalian central nervous system can be explained by a morphogenetic mechanism that involves mechanical tension along axons, dendrites and glial processes. In the cerebral cortex, for example, tension along axons in the white matter can explain how and why the cortex folds in a characteristic species-specific pattern...
Article
We used surface-based representations to analyze functional specializations in the human cerebral cortex. A computerized reconstruction of the cortical surface of the Visible Man digital atlas was generated and transformed to the Talairach coordinate system. This surface was also flattened and used to establish a surface-based coordinate system tha...
Article
1. We studied the responses of 103 neurons in visual area V4 of anesthetized macaque monkeys to two novel classes of visual stimuli, polar and hyperbolic sinusoidal gratings. We suspected on both theoretical and experimental grounds that these stimuli would be useful for characterizing cells involved in intermediate stages of form analysis. Respons...
Article
We have investigated the development of intrinsic and interareal connections in areas V1 and V2 of the macaque monkey using postmortem transport of the lipophilic fluorescent tracer diI, applied to brains fixed at different pre- and postnatal ages. Intrinsic connections in the deep layers of V1 are evident on embryonic day 108 (E108), but are not r...
Article
Full-text available
1. We studied the spatial interaction between stimulus and attention in macaque area V4. Monkeys were required to fixate a small spot while continuously attending to a ring-shaped target within a large array of identical rings. Meanwhile, the response of the V4 cell under study was tested by flashing behaviorally irrelevant bar stimuli in the cell'...
Article
D. C. Van Essen and D. J. Felleman [comment][1] on the analysis of Hilgetag et al. In addition, Hilgetag et al. have a brief [rejoinder.][1] [Further commentary][1] by D. J. Felleman and D. C. Van Essen can be found in the [Enhanced Perspective.][1] [1]: /lookup/doi/10.1126/science.271.5250.776
Article
Full-text available
We present a new method for generating two-dimensional maps of the cerebral cortex. Our computerized, two-stage flattening method takes as its input any well-defined representation of a surface within the three-dimensional cortex. The first stage rapidly converts this surface to a topologically correct two-dimensional map, without regard for the am...
Article
We describe computational methods for constructing three-dimensional models and unfolded, two-dimensional maps of the cerebral cortex. These methods consist of four procedures, including (1) sampling of a surface within the cortex, (2) reconstruction of a three-dimensional model of that surface, (3) unfolding of the surface to generate a two-dimens...
Article
In adult mammalian skeletal muscles, fast and slow muscle fibers are selectively innervated by single inputs from corresponding motor neuron types, giving rise to fast and slow motor units. At birth, however, muscle fibers are polyinnervated, and connections between motor neurons and muscle fibers are not as specific as those found in adults. Exces...
Article
We describe a neural model for forming size- and position-invariant representations of visual objects. The model is based on a previously proposed dynamic routing circuit that remaps selected portions of an input array into an object-centered reference frame. Here, we show how a multiscale representation may be incorporated at the input stage of th...
Article
Several mammalian muscles in the limb and trunk receive topographically organized innervation from spinal cord motor neurons. Some muscles in which topographic innervation has been demonstrated have a sheet-like architecture; others are compartmentalized and/or have more than one origin. An interesting question is whether topography is related to t...
Article
visual processing in primates involves several major subcortical centers plus a mosaic of dozens of distinct areas in the cerebral cortex / anatomical and physiological evidence indicates that these structures are arranged in a hierarchy that includes at least 10 stages of cortical processing as well as several subcortical stages / at each stage of...
Article
Full-text available
The earliest stages of cortical visual processing in areas V1 and V2 of the macaque monkey contain internal subdivisions ('blobs' and 'interblobs' in layer 4B in V1; thin, thick and interstripes in V2) that are selectively interconnected and contain neurons with distinctive visual response properties. Here we use anatomical pathway tracing to demon...
Article
Guidelines for submitting commentsPolicy: Comments that contribute to the discussion of the article will be posted within approximately three business days. We do not accept anonymous comments. Please include your email address; the address will not be displayed in the posted comment. Cell Press Editors will screen the comments to ensure that they...
Article
We present a biologically plausible model of an attentional mechanism for forming position- and scale-invariant representations of objects in the visual world. The model relies on a set of control neurons to dynamically modify the synaptic strengths of intracortical connections so that information from a windowed region of primary visual cortex (V1...
Article
We monitored optical signals from cortex stained with a voltage sensitive dye to study activity evoked by intracortical electrical stimulation. The objectives were to study the spatial and temporal spread of activity from intrinsic connections near the stimulating electrode and to develop a new technique to study extrinsic projections from striate...
Article
The neural basis of pattern recognition is a central problem in visual neuroscience. Responses of single cells were recorded in area V4 of macaque monkey to three classes of periodic stimuli that are based on spatial derivative operators: polar (concentric and radial), hyperbolic, and conventional sinusoidal (Cartesian) gratings. Of 118 cells teste...
Article
Full-text available
1. We studied how neurons in the middle temporal visual area (MT) of anesthetized macaque monkeys responded to textured and nontextured visual stimuli. Stimuli contained a central rectangular "figure" that was either uniform in luminance or consisted of an array of oriented line segments. The figure moved at constant velocity in one of four orthogo...
Article
1. We recorded responses from neurons in area V1 of the alert macaque monkey to textured patterns modeled after stimuli used in psychophysical experiments of pop-out. Neuronal responses to a single oriented line segment placed within a cell's classical receptive field (CRF) were compared with responses in which the center element was surrounded by...
Article
The mammalian visual cortex contains a complex mosaic of areas that are richly connected with one another. Recent progress has advanced our understanding of both macroscopic and microscopic aspects of cortical organization, and of information flow within and between functionally specialized processing streams.
Article
Full-text available
The primate visual system contains dozens of distinct areas in the cerebral cortex and several major subcortical structures. These subdivisions are extensively interconnected in a distributed hierarchical network that contains several intertwined processing streams. A number of strategies are used for efficient information processing within this hi...