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AbstractEvolutionary modifications of the temporo-parietal cortex are considered to be a critical adaptation of the human brain. Cortical adaptations, however, can affect different aspects of brain architecture, including areal expansion or changes in connectivity profiles. We propose to distinguishing different types of brain reorganization using a computational neuroanatomy approach. We investigate the extent to which between-species alignment based on cortical myelin can predict changes in connectivity patterns across macaque, chimpanzee and human. We show that expansion and relocation of brain areas are sufficient to predict terminations of several white matter tracts in temporo-parietal cortex, including the middle and superior longitudinal fasciculus, but not of the arcuate fasciculus. This demonstrates that the arcuate fasciculus underwent additional evolutionary modifications affecting the connectivity pattern of the temporal lobe. The presented approach can flexibly be extended to include other features of cortical organization and other species, allowing direct tests of comparative hypotheses of brain organization.

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