New genetic study examines sulcus depth of human cerebral cortex


A group of researchers at the University of Oslo examined genetic and neuroimaging data from more than 45,000 people in America and Europe to better understand cortical folding patterns.

In their latest study published in Scientists progress, the research group discovered a genetic variation linked to the folding patterns, comparing what they found with the results on cortical area and thickness.

“The folding of the human cerebral cortex is a highly genetically regulated process that allows a much larger area to fit into the cranial vault and optimizes functional organization,” according to the Oslo research group.

“Sulcus depth is a robust but little studied measure of localized folding, previously associated with multiple neurodevelopmental disorders. “

The results would be the first genome-wide association study involving groove depth, with more than 800 significant genome-wide loci identified.

The research group’s review of genetic and neuroimaging data led to the conclusion that cortical folding involves a more complex association with certain genes than previously thought.

By comparing cortical thickness and area across neuroimaging data, the researchers determined that sulcus depth implied “higher locus yield, heritability, and effective sample size.”

“There was a large amount of genetic overlap between these traits, with gene-based analyzes indicating strong associations with neurodevelopmental processes,” the results indicate.

“Our results demonstrate that sulcus depth is a promising neuroimaging phenotype that may improve our understanding of cortical morphology.”


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