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Developmental changes of the central sulcus morphology in young children

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Abstract

The human brain grows rapidly in early childhood, reaching 95% of its final volume by age 6. Understanding brain growth in childhood is important both to answer neuroscience questions about anatomical changes in development, and as a comparison metric for neurological disorders. Metrics for neuroanatomical development including cortical measures pertaining to the sulci can be instrumental in early diagnosis, monitoring, and intervention for neurological diseases. In this paper, we examine the development of the central sulcus in children aged 12–60 months from structural magnetic resonance images. The central sulcus is one of the earliest sulci to develop at the fetal stage and is implicated in diseases such as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and Williams syndrome. We investigate the relationship between the changes in the depth of the central sulcus with respect to age. In our results, we observed a pattern of depth present early on, that had been previously observed in adults. Results also reveal the presence of a rightward depth asymmetry at 12 months of age at a location related to orofacial movements. That asymmetry disappears gradually, mostly between 12 and 24 months, and we suggest that it is related to the development of language skills.

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Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from Dr. Deoni on reasonable request.

Code availability

All codes used in this study are available at https://brainvisa.info/web/

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Funding

This work was supported by NIH grants NIBIB R01EB025031, NIMH R01MH087510 and NIMH R01 MH087510, and the Saban Research Institute grant 000013228. It also received funding from a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship jointly funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society (Grant Number 206675/Z/17/Z).

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Correspondence to Natasha Lepore.

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Gajawelli, N., Deoni, S.C.L., Ramsy, N. et al. Developmental changes of the central sulcus morphology in young children. Brain Struct Funct 226, 1841–1853 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00429-021-02292-x

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