Splenium of corpus callosum: patterns of interhemispheric interaction in children and adults

Neural Plast. 2013;2013:639430. doi: 10.1155/2013/639430. Epub 2013 Mar 13.


The splenium of the corpus callosum connects the posterior cortices with fibers varying in size from thin late-myelinating axons in the anterior part, predominantly connecting parietal and temporal areas, to thick early-myelinating fibers in the posterior part, linking primary and secondary visual areas. In the adult human brain, the function of the splenium in a given area is defined by the specialization of the area and implemented via excitation and/or suppression of the contralateral homotopic and heterotopic areas at the same or different level of visual hierarchy. These mechanisms are facilitated by interhemispheric synchronization of oscillatory activity, also supported by the splenium. In postnatal ontogenesis, structural MRI reveals a protracted formation of the splenium during the first two decades of human life. In doing so, the slow myelination of the splenium correlates with the formation of interhemispheric excitatory influences in the extrastriate areas and the EEG synchronization, while the gradual increase of inhibitory effects in the striate cortex is linked to the local inhibitory circuitry. Reshaping interactions between interhemispherically distributed networks under various perceptual contexts allows sparsification of responses to superfluous information from the visual environment, leading to a reduction of metabolic and structural redundancy in a child's brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Corpus Callosum / growth & development*
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Neural Pathways / growth & development