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Uncovering organizational principles of the cerebral cortex is essential for proper understanding of this prominent structure of the mammalian brain. The theory of the dual origin of the cerebral cortex offers such organizational principle. Here, we demonstrate that a duality pertains to the connectional architecture of the cerebral cortex of different mammals. This dual structure also constitutes a major axis of organization of the transcriptional architecture of the cortex and reflects the expression of different morphogens stemming from distinct patterning centers in the developing pallium. The duality of the cortex is also reflected in its spatial dimension, highlighting cortical areas as spatially ordered constellations that are centered around the paleocortex and archicortex, with the later primordial moieties reminiscent of antipodal points in the cortical sheet. The ontogeny of the uncovered dual connectional structure might be rooted in heterochronous neurodevelopmental gradients in the developing pallium, a suggestion corroborated by computational modeling. In all, the current results exemplify the duality of the cerebral cortex as an overarching organizational principle, reflected across the different levels of cortical architecture of different mammalian species, defining a natural axis of mammalian cortical organization.

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Journal article



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244 - 261