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Hierarchical genetic organization of human cortical surface area

  • Author(s): Chen, CH
  • Gutierrez, ED
  • Thompson, W
  • Panizzon, MS
  • Jernigan, TL
  • Eyler, LT
  • Fennema-Notestine, C
  • Jak, AJ
  • Neale, MC
  • Franz, CE
  • Lyons, MJ
  • Grant, MD
  • Fischl, B
  • Seidman, LJ
  • Tsuang, MT
  • Kremen, WS
  • Dale, AM
  • et al.
Abstract

Surface area of the cerebral cortex is a highly heritable trait, yet little is known about genetic influences on regional cortical differentiation in humans. Using a data-driven, fuzzy clustering technique with magnetic resonance imaging data from 406 twins, we parceled cortical surface area into genetic subdivisions, creating a human brain atlas based solely on genetically informative data. Boundaries of the genetic divisions corresponded largely to meaningful structural and functional regions; however, the divisions represented previously undescribed phenotypes different from conventional (non-genetically based) parcellation systems. The genetic organization of cortical area was hierarchical, modular, and predominantly bilaterally symmetric across hemispheres. We also found that the results were consistent with human-specific regions being subdivisions of previously described, genetically based lobar regionalization patterns.

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