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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Xianqiao Wang, xqwang@uga.edu

See publication for full list of author contributions.

The authors would like to thank the BrainSpan project: Atlas of the Developing Human Brain (http://developinghumanbrain.org) for sharing the human fetal DTI and histology dataset.

We sincerely thank Shaoting Zhang of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for his recommendation of neuron detection software.

Fetal brain data from http://www.brainspan.org was used, in which all work was performed according to guidelines for the research use of human brain tissue and with approval by the Human Investigation Committees and Institutional Ethics Committees of each institute from which samples were obtained.

Appropriate written informed consent was obtained and all available non-identifying information was recorded for each specimen.


Research Funding:

TL was supported by NSF CAREER Award (IIS-1149260), NIH R01 DA-033393, NIH R01 AG-042599, NSF CBET-1302089, and NSF BCS-143905.

XW and MR were supported by the University of Georgia Start-up research funding.

TZ was supported by NSFC 31500798, NSFC 31671005 and the fundamental research funds for the central universities.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Mathematical & Computational Biology
  • Neurosciences
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • neuroimaging
  • radial structure
  • radial convolution pattern
  • computational modeling

Radial Structure Scaffolds Convolution Patterns of Developing Cerebral Cortex


Journal Title:

Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience


Volume 11


, Pages 76-76

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Commonly-preserved radial convolution is a prominent characteristic of the mammalian cerebral cortex. Endeavors from multiple disciplines have been devoted for decades to explore the causes for this enigmatic structure. However, the underlying mechanisms that lead to consistent cortical convolution patterns still remain poorly understood. In this work, inspired by prior studies, we propose and evaluate a plausible theory that radial convolution during the early development of the brain is sculptured by radial structures consisting of radial glial cells (RGCs) and maturing axons. Specifically, the regionally heterogeneous development and distribution of RGCs controlled by Trnp1 regulate the convex and concave convolution patterns (gyri and sulci) in the radial direction, while the interplay of RGCs’ effects on convolution and axons regulates the convex (gyral) convolution patterns. This theory is assessed by observations and measurements in literature from multiple disciplines such as neurobiology, genetics, biomechanics, etc., at multiple scales to date. Particularly, this theory is further validated by multimodal imaging data analysis and computational simulations in this study. We offer a versatile and descriptive study model that can provide reasonable explanations of observations, experiments, and simulations of the characteristic mammalian cortical folding.

Copyright information:

© 2017 Razavi, Zhang, Chen, Li, Platt, Zhao, Guo, Hu, Wang and Liu.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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