Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems

CCNCS Seminar Details

Understanding cortical folding, and implications for functional localisation

Speaker: Alan Colchester
Date/Time: Monday 13 May 2013, 11.00am
Location: COLT 3


CONTEXT: The cerebral cortex is a smoothly folded surface (forming a 2D manifold in 3D space) whose surface area is much larger than the convex outer surface area of the hemispheres. The folding causes problems when interpreting images, particularly fMRI. (1) Areas that are far apart on the 2D cortical surface may lie close to each other in 3D, and imaging resolution is often unable to resolve theses ambiguities of 2D localisation. (2) The folding pattern is notoriously variable between individuals, which with present techniques prevents accurate co-registration of images. These problems are critical to understanding of functional localisation, but fMRI studies generally ignore them.

NEW DATA ON THE ORGANISATION OF FOLDING: Analysis of a large set of structural MRI scans in a collaborative project with the Max Planck Institue of Cognitive Sciences in Leipzig has revealed a striking underlying organisation of cortical folding common to all subjects which has not previously been appreciated. I will go through our paper (published in Cerebral cortex a few years ago) and explain these results.

IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH INTO FUNCTIONAL LOCALISATION: Our findings suggest a new approach to co-registration for fMRI which has not yet been attempted by any group. Hopefully today's talk may stimulate the development of this approach.

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Centre for Cognitive Science and Cognitive Systems, School of Psychology, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NP

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Last Updated: 24/05/2013