The evolution of the arcuate fasciculus revealed with comparative DTI

Nat Neurosci. 2008 Apr;11(4):426-8. doi: 10.1038/nn2072. Epub 2008 Mar 23.


The arcuate fasciculus is a white-matter fiber tract that is involved in human language. Here we compared cortical connectivity in humans, chimpanzees and macaques (Macaca mulatta) and found a prominent temporal lobe projection of the human arcuate fasciculus that is much smaller or absent in nonhuman primates. This human specialization may be relevant to the evolution of language.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anatomy, Comparative / instrumentation
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Brain Mapping* / instrumentation
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Frontal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Humans
  • Macaca mulatta / anatomy & histology*
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Pan troglodytes / anatomy & histology*
  • Temporal Lobe / anatomy & histology