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Title: A network approach to brain form, cortical topology and human evolution
Authors: Bruner, Emiliano
Esteve-Altava, Borja
Rasskin-Gutman, Diego
Keywords: Anatomical network analysis;Brain morphology;Paleoneurology;Functional craniology
Issue Date: Jul-2019
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Brain Structure and Function, 2019, 224 (6), 2231-2245
Abstract: Network analysis provides a quantitative tool to investigate the topological properties of a system. In anatomy, it can be employed to investigate the spatial organization of body parts according to their contiguity and patterns of physical contact. In this study, we build a model representing the spatial adjacency of the major regions of the human brain often considered in evolutionary neuroanatomy, to analyse its topological features. Results suggest that the frontal lobe is topologically independent of the posterior regions of the brain, which in turn are more integrated and influenced by reciprocal constraints. The precentral gyrus represents a hinge between the anterior and posterior blocks. The lateral temporal cortex is particularly influenced by the neighbouring regions, while the parietal cortex is minimally constrained by the overall brain organization. Beyond the reciprocal spatial influences among cortical areas, brain form is further constrained by spatial and mechanical influence of the braincase, including bone and connective elements. The anterior fossa and the parietal bones are the elements more sensitive to the brain–braincase spatial organization. These topological properties must be properly considered when making inferences on evolutionary variations and macroscopic differences of the human brain morphology.
ISSN: 1863-2653
DOI: 10.1007/s00429-019-01900-1
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Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

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