The evolution and development of anatomical-functional relationships in the cerebral cortex is of major interest in neuroscience. Here, we leveraged the fact that a functional region selective for visual scenes is located within a sulcus in the medial ventral temporal cortex (VTC) in both humans and macaques to examine the relationship between sulcal depth and place selectivity in the medial VTC across species and age groups. To do so, we acquired anatomical and functional magnetic resonance imaging scans in 9 macaques, 26 human children, and 28 human adults. Our results revealed a strong structural-functional coupling between sulcal depth and place selectivity across age groups and species in which selectivity was strongest near the deepest sulcal point (the sulcal pit). Interestingly, this coupling between sulcal depth and place selectivity strengthens from childhood to adulthood in humans. Morphological analyses suggest that the stabilization of sulcal-functional coupling in adulthood may be due to sulcal deepening and areal expansion with age as well as developmental differences in cortical curvature at the pial, but not the white matter surfaces. Our results implicate sulcal features as functional landmarks in high-level visual cortex and highlight that sulcal-functional relationships in the medial VTC are preserved between macaques and humans despite differences in cortical folding.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
- human development
- sulcal depth
- sulcal pits