Temporal sulcal pattern

Rosas et al 2014Neuroanatomical evidence suggests that we have relatively larger temporal lobes when compared with the apes’ allometric brain variation. Actually, there are also some form differences in our middle cranial fossa, housing the temporal lobes. However, the morphology of the middle endocranial fossa is influenced by many factors involved in the cranial base phylogeny and ontogeny, and we can wonder whether it strictly represents, in terms or direct linear variations, corresponding changes of the temporal lobes. The structural relationship with the underlying mandible is just one of the many non-neural influences of the middle endocranial area. Nonetheless, the middle endocranial surface can also provide information on the sulcal pattern of the temporal cortex, now further investigated by Antonio Rosas and Markus Bastir. In this case, the resulting morphology is more likely to be the direct consequence of brain morphogenesis and cortical organization, being less influenced by structural cranial constraints. That is, possible species-specific differences in the sulcal pattern can be more easily interpreted in terms of intrinsic brain factors (independently upon their functional meaning), more than in terms of extrinsic  secondary consequences of the complex spatial dynamics of the endocranial base.

2 Responses to “Temporal sulcal pattern”

  1. 1 Antonio Rosas September 24, 2014 at 09:25

    Direct empirical work on cadaveric materials (our sincere gratitude to people who generously donate their bodies for science) has demonstrated a direct relationship between middle cranial base bony reliefs and brain sulcal pattern. Further work on this direct approach may also demonstrate possible species-specific differences in the sulcal pattern. Unfortunately, we do not have clear idea about the potential functional meaning of these differences, and this must be clarified from other research approaches. Nevertheless, a improved understanding of the anatomical sucal pattern is a good start.

  2. 2 emilianobruner September 24, 2014 at 09:57

    For many cortical areas the variations and patterns of the sulcal morphology are not known. Atlases and books rely on the “main general morphology”, but no information is generally available, at a descriptive or quantitative level, on gradual or discrete differences (among groups or among individuals) in the anatomical organization. Is this the situation also for the lateral and lower temporal areas?

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