Symmetry of cortical folding abnormalities in Williams syndrome revealed by surface-based analyses

David C. Van Essen, Donna Dierker, A. Z. Snyder, Marcus E. Raichle, Allan L. Reiss, Julie Korenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


We analyzed folding abnormalities in the cerebral cortex of subjects with Williams syndrome (WS), a genetically based developmental disorder, using surface-based analyses applied to structural magnetic resonance imaging data. Surfaces generated from each individual hemisphere were registered to a common atlas target (the PALS-B12 atlas). Maps of sulcal depth (distance from the cerebral hull) were combined across individuals to generate maps of average sulcal depth for WS and control subjects, along with depth-difference maps and t-statistic maps that accounted for within-group variability. Significant structural abnormalities were identified in 33 locations, arranged as 16 bilaterally symmetric pairs plus a lateral temporal region in the right hemisphere. Discrete WS folding abnormalities extended across a broad swath from dorsoposterior to ventroanterior regions of each hemisphere, in cortical areas associated with multiple sensory modalities as well as regions implicated in cognitive and emotional behavior. Hemispheric asymmetry in the temporal cortex is reduced in WS compared with control subjects. These findings provide insights regarding possible developmental mechanisms that give rise to folding abnormalities and to the spectrum of behavioral characteristics associated with WS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5470-5483
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2006


  • Cerebral cortex
  • Cognition
  • Development
  • Genetics
  • Gyrus
  • Hemisphere
  • Language
  • Morphometry
  • Spatial cognition
  • Sulcus

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Symmetry of cortical folding abnormalities in Williams syndrome revealed by surface-based analyses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this