Updating the sulcal landscape of the human lateral parieto-occipital junction provides anatomical, functional, and cognitive insights

bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2024 May 14:2023.06.08.544284. doi: 10.1101/2023.06.08.544284.


Recent work has uncovered relationships between evolutionarily new small and shallow cerebral indentations, or sulci, and human behavior. Yet, this relationship remains unexplored in the lateral parietal cortex (LPC) and the lateral parieto-occipital junction (LPOJ). After defining thousands of sulci in a young adult cohort, we revised the previous LPC/LPOJ sulcal landscape to include four previously overlooked, small, shallow, and variable sulci. One of these sulci (ventral supralateral occipital sulcus, slocs-v) is present in nearly every hemisphere and is morphologically, architecturally, and functionally dissociable from neighboring sulci. A data-driven, model-based approach, relating sulcal depth to behavior further revealed that the morphology of only a subset of LPC/LPOJ sulci, including the slocs-v, is related to performance on a spatial orientation task. Our findings build on classic neuroanatomical theories and identify new neuroanatomical targets for future "precision imaging" studies exploring the relationship among brain structure, brain function, and cognitive abilities in individual participants.

Keywords: Cortical folding; Functional neuroanatomy; Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); Occipital cortex; Parietal cortex; Spatial orientation.

Publication types

  • Preprint