Temporal Patterns of Emergence and Spatial Distribution of Sulcal Pits During Fetal Life

Hyuk Jin Yun, Lana Vasung, Tomo Tarui, Caitlin K. Rollins, Cynthia M. Ortinau, P. Ellen Grant, Kiho Im

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sulcal pits are thought to represent the first cortical folds of primary sulci during neurodevelopment. The uniform spatial distribution of sulcal pits across individuals is hypothesized to be predetermined by a human-specific protomap which is related to functional localization under genetic controls in early fetal life. Thus, it is important to characterize temporal and spatial patterns of sulcal pits in the fetal brain that would provide additional information of functional development of the human brain and crucial insights into abnormal cortical maturation. In this paper, we investigated temporal patterns of emergence and spatial distribution of sulcal pits using 48 typically developing fetal brains in the second half of gestation. We found that the position and spatial variance of sulcal pits in the fetal brain are similar to those in the adult brain, and they are also temporally uniform against dynamic brain growth during fetal life. Furthermore, timing of pit emergence shows a regionally diverse pattern that may be associated with the subdivisions of the protomap. Our findings suggest that sulcal pits in the fetal brain are useful anatomical landmarks containing detailed information of functional localization in early cortical development and maintaining their spatial distribution throughout the human lifetime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4257-4268
Number of pages12
JournalCerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991)
Volume30
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Keywords

  • brain development
  • cortical sulci
  • fetal brain
  • first folds
  • sulcal pattern

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