A multi-scale cortical wiring space links cellular architecture and functional dynamics in the human brain

by Casey Paquola, Jakob Seidlitz, Oualid Benkarim, Jessica Royer, Petr Klimes, Richard A. I. Bethlehem, Sara Larivière, Reinder Vos de Wael, Raul Rodríguez-Cruces, Jeffery A. Hall, Birgit Frauscher, Jonathan Smallwood, Boris C. Bernhardt

The vast net of fibres within and underneath the cortex is optimised to support the convergence of different levels of brain organisation. Here, we propose a novel coordinate system of the human cortex based on an advanced model of its connectivity. Our approach is inspired by seminal, but so far largely neglected models of cortico–cortical wiring established by postmortem anatomical studies and capitalises on cutting-edge in vivo neuroimaging and machine learning. The new model expands the currently prevailing diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tractography approach by incorporation of additional features of cortical microstructure and cortico–cortical proximity. Studying several datasets and different parcellation schemes, we could show that our coordinate system robustly recapitulates established sensory-limbic and anterior–posterior dimensions of brain organisation. A series of validation experiments showed that the new wiring space reflects cortical microcircuit features (including pyramidal neuron depth and glial expression) and allowed for competitive simulations of functional connectivity and dynamics based on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and human intracranial electroencephalography (EEG) coherence. Our results advance our understanding of how cell-specific neurobiological gradients produce a hierarchical cortical wiring scheme that is concordant with increasing functional sophistication of human brain organisation. Our evaluations demonstrate the cortical wiring space bridges across scales of neural organisation and can be easily translated to single individuals.

Paper source
Plos Journal

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