Gradients of connectivity distance in the cerebral cortex of the macaque monkey.
Oligschläger S., Xu T., Baczkowski BM., Falkiewicz M., Falchier A., Linn G., Margulies DS.
Cortical connectivity conforms to a series of organizing principles that are common across species. Spatial proximity, similar cortical type, and similar connectional profile all constitute factors for determining the connectivity between cortical regions. We previously demonstrated another principle of connectivity that is closely related to the spatial layout of the cerebral cortex. Using functional connectivity from resting-state fMRI in the human cortex, we found that the further a region is located from primary cortex, the more distant are its functional connections with the other areas of the cortex. However, it remains unknown whether this relationship between cortical layout and connectivity extends to other primate species. Here, we investigated this relationship using both resting-state functional connectivity as well as gold-standard tract-tracing connectivity in the macaque monkey cortex. For both measures of connectivity, we found a gradient of connectivity distance extending between primary and frontoparietal regions. In the human cortex, the further a region is located from primary areas, the stronger its connections to distant portions of the cortex, with connectivity distance highest in frontal and parietal regions. The similarity between the human and macaque findings provides evidence for a phylogenetically conserved relationship between the spatial layout of cortical areas and connectivity.