Parcellations and connectivity patterns in human and macaque cerebral cortex

David C. Van Essen, Chad Donahue, Donna L. Dierker, Matthew F. Glasser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

12 Scopus citations


To decipher brain function, it is vital to know how the brain is wired. This entails elucidation of brain circuits at multiple scales, including microscopic, mesoscopic, and macroscopic levels. Here, we review recent progress in mapping the macroscopic brain circuits and functional organization of the cerebral cortex in primates—humans and macaque monkeys, in particular. There are many similarities across species in terms of overall patterns of cortical gray matter myelination as well as functional areas that are presumed to be homologous. However, there are also many important species differences, including cortical convolutions that are much more complex and more variable in humans than in monkeys. Our ability to analyze structure and function has benefited from improved methods for intersubject registration that cope with this individual variability. To characterize long-distance connectivity, powerful but indirect methods are now available, including resting-state functional connectivity and diffusion imaging coupled with probabilistic tractography. We illustrate how connectivity inferred from diffusion imaging and tractography can be evaluated in relation to ‘ground truth’ based on anatomical tracers in the macaque. Interspecies registration between human and macaque cortex based on presumed interspecies homologies demonstrates an impressive degree of areal expansion in regions associated with higher cognitive function.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch and Perspectives in Neurosciences
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameResearch and Perspectives in Neurosciences
ISSN (Print)0945-6082
ISSN (Electronic)2196-3096


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