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Abstract #0634

Developmental and Genetic Factors Underlying the Complexity and Variability of Cortical Convolutions

van Essen D
Washington University School of Medicine

This presentation describes a surface-based approach to analyzing human cortical convolutions. It involves quantitative analyses of folding patterns in several different groups. Comparison between the left and right hemispheres of normal subjects revealed eight localized asymmetries. Comparison between men and women revealed no significant difference in average shape, but greater shape diversity in male right hemispheres. Analysis of specific disease conditions revealed 35 folding abnormalities in Williams Syndrome and several folding abnormalities in autism. These results provide useful insights regarding variability of cortical folding patterns in health and disease and suggest hypotheses regarding developmental mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal folding.