This project will generate extensive new findings about the organization, connectivity, and evolutionary relationships of cerebral cortex in humans and nonhuman primates. It will also disseminate the results by establishing a user-friendly database that provides ready access to high-resolution atlases, reference data, and extensively processed published datasets. This will enable investigators to compare their results with the reference data and provide a platform to share their own results. Taken together, these efforts will accelerate progress in understanding human brain circuits in health and disease.
The first aim i s to obtain more accurate maps of anatomical connectivity in the macaque monkey and to compare anatomical connectivity with tractography methods that indirectly estimate connectivity based on diffusion imaging MRI scans. An existing dataset, involving dozens of retrograde tracer injections charted on digitized histological sections, will be mapped onto a high-resolution macaque atlas. This will yield quantitative maps of 'ground truth' neuroanatomical connectivity with unprecedented accuracy. Comparing tracer-based maps with results from tractography applied to postmortem macaque brains, will provide an objective analysis of how well tractography estimates anatomical connection strengths.
The second aim will compare cortical organization and connectivity in humans to that in the macaque monkey and also our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. Surface-based registration between species will be used to evaluate candidate evolutionary homologies between cortical areas and to compare connectivity patterns between macaque and human. Chimpanzee cortex will be compared to human and macaque cortex using myelin maps as a common marker of cortical architecture. These analyses will better characterize regions of rapid evolutionary expansion in the human lineage.
The third aim will establish and help populate a new database, the Brain Analysis Library of Spatial maps and Atlases (BALSA). BALSA will include a curated, up-to-date repository of reference data accurately mapped to atlas surfaces and volumes, plus a library for sharing extensively analyzed datasets associated with published studies, as voluntarily submitted by authors. BALSA will have user-friendly features that enable easy data uploading and facilitate browsing, searching, web-based visualization, and downloading datasets of interest.

Public Health Relevance

This project will evaluate the reliability of noninvasive methods for estimating brain connectivity in humans and monkeys. Results will be shared via a state-of-the-art database that facilitates access to published neuroimaging-related data. These efforts will increase our understanding of human brain circuitry and function and may ultimately contribute to better diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Neuroscience and Ophthalmic Imaging Technologies Study Section (NOIT)
Program Officer
Freund, Michelle
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Washington University
Schools of Medicine
Saint Louis
United States
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Fukutomi, Hikaru; Glasser, Matthew F; Zhang, Hui et al. (2018) Neurite imaging reveals microstructural variations in human cerebral cortical gray matter. Neuroimage 182:488-499
Robinson, Emma C; Garcia, Kara; Glasser, Matthew F et al. (2018) Multimodal surface matching with higher-order smoothness constraints. Neuroimage 167:453-465
Donahue, Chad J; Glasser, Matthew F; Preuss, Todd M et al. (2018) Quantitative assessment of prefrontal cortex in humans relative to nonhuman primates. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 115:E5183-E5192
Van Essen, David C; Glasser, Matthew F (2018) Parcellating Cerebral Cortex: How Invasive Animal Studies Inform Noninvasive Mapmaking in Humans. Neuron 99:640-663
G?m?nu?, R?zvan; Kennedy, Henry; Toroczkai, Zoltán et al. (2018) The Mouse Cortical Connectome, Characterized by an Ultra-Dense Cortical Graph, Maintains Specificity by Distinct Connectivity Profiles. Neuron 97:698-715.e10
Coalson, Timothy S; Van Essen, David C; Glasser, Matthew F (2018) The impact of traditional neuroimaging methods on the spatial localization of cortical areas. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 115:E6356-E6365
Van Essen, David C; Donahue, Chad J; Glasser, Matthew F (2018) Development and Evolution of Cerebral and Cerebellar Cortex. Brain Behav Evol 91:158-169
Garcia, Kara E; Robinson, Emma C; Alexopoulos, Dimitrios et al. (2018) Dynamic patterns of cortical expansion during folding of the preterm human brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 115:3156-3161
Glasser, Matthew F; Coalson, Timothy S; Bijsterbosch, Janine D et al. (2018) Using temporal ICA to selectively remove global noise while preserving global signal in functional MRI data. Neuroimage 181:692-717
Van Essen, David C; Smith, John; Glasser, Matthew F et al. (2017) The Brain Analysis Library of Spatial maps and Atlases (BALSA) database. Neuroimage 144:270-274

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