DOI: 10.7554/elife.75401 ISSN: 2050-084X

Fine-grained functional parcellation maps of the infant cerebral cortex

Fan Wang, Han Zhang, Zhengwang Wu, Dan Hu, Zhen Zhou, Jessica B Girault, Li Wang, Weili Lin, Gang Li
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • General Neuroscience

Resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) is widely used to examine the dynamic brain functional development of infants, but these studies typically require precise cortical parcellation maps, which cannot be directly borrowed from adult-based functional parcellation maps due to the substantial differences in functional brain organization between infants and adults. Creating infant-specific cortical parcellation maps is thus highly desired but remains challenging due to difficulties in acquiring and processing infant brain MRIs. In this study, we leveraged 1064 high-resolution longitudinal rs-fMRIs from 197 typically developing infants and toddlers from birth to 24 months who participated in the Baby Connectome Project to develop the first set of infant-specific, fine-grained, surface-based cortical functional parcellation maps. To establish meaningful cortical functional correspondence across individuals, we performed cortical co-registration using both the cortical folding geometric features and the local gradient of functional connectivity (FC). Then we generated both age-related and age-independent cortical parcellation maps with over 800 fine-grained parcels during infancy based on aligned and averaged local gradient maps of FC across individuals. These parcellation maps reveal complex functional developmental patterns, such as changes in local gradient, network size, and local efficiency, especially during the first 9 postnatal months. Our generated fine-grained infant cortical functional parcellation maps are publicly available at for advancing the pediatric neuroimaging field.

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