An architectonic type principle in the development of laminar patterns of cortico-cortical connections


Structural connections between cortical areas form an intricate network with a high degree of specificity. Many aspects of this complex network organization in the adult mammalian cortex are captured by an architectonic type principle, which relates structural connections to the architectonic differentiation of brain regions. In particular, the laminar patterns of projection origins are a prominent feature of structural connections that varies in a graded manner with the relative architectonic differentiation of connected areas in the adult brain. Here we show that the architectonic type principle is already apparent for the laminar origins of cortico-cortical projections in the immature cortex of the macaque monkey. We find that prenatal and neonatal laminar patterns correlate with cortical architectonic differentiation, and that the relation of laminar patterns to architectonic differences between connected areas is not substantially altered by the complete loss of visual input. Moreover, we find that the degree of change in laminar patterns that projections undergo during development varies in proportion to the relative architectonic differentiation of the connected areas. Hence, it appears that initial biases in laminar projection patterns become progressively strengthened by later developmental processes. These findings suggest that early neurogenetic processes during the formation of the brain are sufficient to establish the characteristic laminar projection patterns. This conclusion is in line with previously suggested mechanistic explanations underlying the emergence of the architectonic type principle and provides further constraints for exploring the fundamental factors that shape structural connectivity in the mammalian brain.

Bibliografische Daten

StatusVeröffentlicht - 05.2021
PubMed 33559742