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Maturation of Cortico-Subcortical Structural Networks-Segregation and Overlap of Medial Temporal and Fronto-Striatal Systems in Development.

  • Author(s): Walhovd, Kristine B;
  • Tamnes, Christian K;
  • Bjørnerud, Atle;
  • Due-Tønnessen, Paulina;
  • Holland, Dominic;
  • Dale, Anders M;
  • Fjell, Anders M
  • et al.

The brain consists of partly segregated neural circuits within which structural convergence and functional integration occurs during development. The relationship of structural cortical and subcortical maturation is largely unknown. We aimed to study volumetric development of the hippocampus and basal ganglia (caudate, putamen, pallidum, accumbens) in relation to volume changes throughout the cortex. Longitudinal MRI data were obtained across a mean interval of 2.6 years in 85 participants with an age range of 8-19 years at study start. Left and right subcortical changes were related to cortical change vertex-wise in the ipsilateral hemisphere with general linear models with age, sex, interval between scans, and mean cortical volume change as covariates. Hippocampal-cortical change relationships centered on parts of the Papez circuit, including entorhinal, parahippocampal, and isthmus cingulate areas, and lateral temporal, insular, and orbitofrontal cortices in the left hemisphere. Basal ganglia-cortical change relationships were observed in mostly nonoverlapping and more anterior cortical areas, all including the anterior cingulate. Other patterns were unique to specific basal ganglia structures, including pre-, post-, and paracentral patterns relating to putamen change. In conclusion, patterns of cortico-subcortical development as assessed by morphometric analyses in part map out segregated neural circuits at the macrostructural level.

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