The One-Stop Gyrification Station - Challenges and New Technologies

Publication Name

Progress in Neurobiology


The evolution of the folded cortical surface is an iconic feature of the human brain shared by a subset of mammals and considered pivotal for the emergence of higher-order cognitive functions. While our understanding of the neurodevelopmental processes involved in corticogenesis has greatly advanced over the past 70 years of brain research, the fundamental mechanisms that result in gyrification, along with its originating cytoarchitectural location, remain largely unknown. This review brings together numerous approaches to this basic neurodevelopmental problem, constructing a narrative of how various models, techniques and tools have been applied to the study of gyrification thus far. After a brief discussion of core concepts and challenges within the field, we provide an analysis of the significant discoveries derived from the parallel use of model organisms such as the mouse, ferret, sheep and non-human primates, particularly with regard to how they have shaped our understanding of cortical folding. We then focus on the latest developments in the field and the complementary application of newly emerging technologies, such as cerebral organoids, advanced neuroimaging techniques, and atomic force microscopy. Particular emphasis is placed upon the use of novel computational and physical models in regard to the interplay of biological and physical forces in cortical folding.

Open Access Status

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Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

Australian Research Council



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