Sulcal morphology of posteromedial cortex substantially differs between humans and chimpanzees

Commun Biol. 2023 Jun 1;6(1):586. doi: 10.1038/s42003-023-04953-5.


Recent studies identify a surprising coupling between evolutionarily new sulci and the functional organization of human posteromedial cortex (PMC). Yet, no study has compared this modern PMC sulcal patterning between humans and non-human hominoids. To fill this gap in knowledge, we first manually defined over 2500 PMC sulci in 120 chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes) hemispheres and 144 human hemispheres. We uncovered four new sulci, and quantitatively identified species differences in sulcal incidence, depth, and surface area. Interestingly, some sulci are more common in humans and others, in chimpanzees. Further, we found that the prominent marginal ramus of the cingulate sulcus differs significantly between species. Contrary to classic observations, the present results reveal that the surface anatomy of PMC substantially differs between humans and chimpanzees-findings which lay a foundation for better understanding the evolution of neuroanatomical-functional and neuroanatomical-behavioral relationships in this highly expanded region of the human cerebral cortex.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Hominidae*
  • Humans
  • Pan troglodytes* / anatomy & histology