Architectonic Mapping of the Human Brain beyond Brodmann

Neuron. 2015 Dec 16;88(6):1086-1107. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.12.001.


Brodmann has pioneered structural brain mapping. He considered functional and pathological criteria for defining cortical areas in addition to cytoarchitecture. Starting from this idea of structural-functional relationships at the level of cortical areas, we will argue that the cortical architecture is more heterogeneous than Brodmann's map suggests. A triple-scale concept is proposed that includes repetitive modular-like structures and micro- and meso-maps. Criteria for defining a cortical area will be discussed, considering novel preparations, imaging and optical methods, 2D and 3D quantitative architectonics, as well as high-performance computing including analyses of big data. These new approaches contribute to an understanding of the brain on multiple levels and challenge the traditional, mosaic-like segregation of the cerebral cortex.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Atlases as Topic*
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Brain Mapping / trends
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / anatomy & histology*
  • Nerve Net / cytology