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Genetic and phylogenetic uncoupling of structure and function in human transmodal cortex.

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Paquola, Casey 
Bethlehem, Richard AI 


Brain structure scaffolds intrinsic function, supporting cognition and ultimately behavioral flexibility. However, it remains unclear how a static, genetically controlled architecture supports flexible cognition and behavior. Here, we synthesize genetic, phylogenetic and cognitive analyses to understand how the macroscale organization of structure-function coupling across the cortex can inform its role in cognition. In humans, structure-function coupling was highest in regions of unimodal cortex and lowest in transmodal cortex, a pattern that was mirrored by a reduced alignment with heritable connectivity profiles. Structure-function uncoupling in macaques had a similar spatial distribution, but we observed an increased coupling between structure and function in association cortices relative to humans. Meta-analysis suggested regions with the least genetic control (low heritable correspondence and different across primates) are linked to social-cognition and autobiographical memory. Our findings suggest that genetic and evolutionary uncoupling of structure and function in different transmodal systems may support the emergence of complex forms of cognition.



Article, /631/378/2649, /631/378/2583, /141, /123, article

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Nat Commun

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Nature Publishing Group UK