Axonal fiber terminations concentrate on gyri

Jingxin Nie, Lei Guo, Kaiming Li, Yonghua Wang, Guojun Chen, Longchuan Li, Hanbo Chen, Fan Deng, Xi Jiang, Tuo Zhang, Ling Huang, Carlos Faraco, Degang Zhang, Cong Guo, Pew Thian Yap, Xintao Hu, Gang Li, Jinglei Lv, Yixuan Yuan, Dajiang ZhuJunwei Han, Dean Sabatinelli, Qun Zhao, L. Stephen Miller, Bingqian Xu, Ping Shen, Simon Platt, Dinggang Shen, Xiaoping Hu, Tianming Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


Convoluted cortical folding and neuronal wiring are 2 prominent attributes of the mammalian brain. However, the macroscale intrinsic relationship between these 2 general cross-species attributes, as well as the underlying principles that sculpt the architecture of the cerebral cortex, remains unclear. Here, we show that the axonal fibers connected to gyri are significantly denser than those connected to sulci. In human, chimpanzee, and macaque brains, a dominant fraction of axonal fibers were found to be connected to the gyri. This finding has been replicated in a range of mammalian brains via diffusion tensor imaging and high-angular resolution diffusion imaging. These results may have shed some lights on fundamental mechanisms for development and organization of the cerebral cortex, suggesting that axonal pushing is a mechanism of cortical folding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2831-2839
Number of pages9
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Northwestern Polytechnic University Foundation for Fundamental Research to J. Nie, L. Guo, and G. Li; National Institutes of Health (K01 EB 006878 and R01 HL087923-03S2 to T. Liu, PO1 AG026423 to L. Li and X. Hu); The University of Georgia start-up research funding to T. Liu; China Government Scholarship to K. Li, T. Zhang, and D. Zhang.


  • cortical folding
  • diffusion tensor imaging
  • shape analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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