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A new 3D myeloarchitectonic map of the human neocortex based on data from the Vogt-Vogt school

Publication year 2023
Published in Brain Structure & Function
Authors R. Nieuwenhuys, Cees A J Broere

During the period extending from 1900 to 1970, Oskar and Cécile Vogt and their numerous collaborators (‘the Vogt-Vogt school’) published a large number of studies on the myeloarchitecture of the human cerebral cortex. During the last decade, we have concerned ourselves with a detailed meta-analysis of these now almost totally forgotten studies, with the aim to bringing them into the modern era of science. This scrutiny yielded inter alia a myeloarchitectonic map of the human neocortex, showing a parcellation into 182 areas (Nieuwenhuys et al. in Brain Struct Funct 220:2551-2573, 2015; Erratum in Brain Struct Funct 220: 3753-3755, 2015). This map, termed 2D’15, which is based on data derived from all of the 20 publications constituting the myeloarchitectonic legacy of the Vogt-Vogt school, has the limitation that it is two-dimensional i.e. it shows only the parts of the cortex exposed at the free surface of the cerebral hemispheres and not the extensive stretches of cortex hidden in the cortical sulci. However, a limited set of data, derived from four of the 20 publications available, has enabled us to create a 3D map, showing the myeloarchitectonic parcellation of the entire human neocortex. This map, designated as 3D’23, contains 182 areas: 64 frontal, 30 parietal, 6 insular, 19 occipital and 63 temporal. We have also prepared a 2D version (2D’23), of this 3D’23 map to serve as a link between the latter and our original 2D’15 map. Detailed comparison of the parcellations visualized in our three maps (2D’15, 2D’23 and 3D’23) warrants the conclusion that our new 3D’23 map may be considered as representative for the entire myeloarchitectural legacy of the Vogt-Vogt School. Hence it is now possible to compare the rich amount of myeloarchitectonic data assembled by that school directly with the results of current 3D analyses of the architecture of the human cortex, such as the meticulous quantitative cyto- and receptor architectonic studies of Zilles, Amunts and their numerous associates (Amunts et al. in Science 369:988-992, 2020), and the multimodal parcellation of the human cortex based on magnetic resonance images from the Human Connectome Project, performed by Glasser et al. in Nature 536:171-178, 2016).

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