Variations of cingulate sulcal organization and link with cognitive performance

Sci Rep. 2018 Sep 18;8(1):13988. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-32088-9.


The sulcal morphology of the human medial frontal cortex has received marked interest because of (1) its remarkable link with the functional organization of this region, and (2) observations that deviations from 'normal' sulcal morphological variability correlate with the prevalence of some psychiatric disorders, cognitive abilities, or personality traits. Unfortunately, background studies on environmental or genetic factors influencing the ontogenesis of the sulcal organization in this region are critically lacking. We analysed the sulcal morphological organization in this region in twins and non-twin siblings, as well as in control subjects for a total of 599 subjects from the Human Connectome Project. The data first confirm significant biases in the presence of paracingulate sulci in left vs right hemispheres in the whole population (twin: p < 2.4.10-9; non-twin: p < 2.10-6) demonstrating a clear general laterality in human subjects. Second, measures of similarity between siblings and estimations of heritability suggest significant environmental factors, in particular in-womb environment, and weak additive genetic factors influencing the presence of a paracingulate sulcus. Finally, we found that relationships between sulcal organization and performance in cognitive, motor, and affective tests depend on the twin status (Twins versus Non-twins). These results provide important new insights to the issue of the significance of sulcal organization in the human medial frontal cortex.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Gyrus Cinguli / anatomy & histology*
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Twin Studies as Topic