Cross-species alignment along the chronological axis reveals evolutionary effect on structural development of human brain

Read the full article See related articles

Listed in

This article is not in any list yet, why not save it to one of your lists.
Log in to save this article


Disentangling evolution mysteries of human brain has always been an imperative endeavor in neuroscience. On the one hand, by spatially aligning the brains between human and nonhuman primates (NHPs), previous efforts in comparative studies revealed both correspondence and difference in brain anatomy, e.g., the morphological and the connectomic patterns. On the other hand, brain anatomical development along the temporal axis is evident for both human and NHPs in early life. However, it remains largely unknown whether we can conjugate the brain development phases between human and NHPs, and, especially, what the role played by the brain anatomy in the conjugation will be. Here, we proposed to embed the brain anatomy of human and macaque in the chronological axis for enabling the cross-species comparison on brain development. Specifically, we separately established the prediction models by using the brain anatomical features in gray matter and white matter tracts to predict the chronological age in the human and macaque samples with brain development. We observed that applying the trained models within-species could well predict the chronological age. Interestingly, by conducting the cross-species application of the trained models, e.g., applying the model trained in humans to the data of macaques, we found a significant cross-species imbalance regarding to the model performance, in which the model trained in macaque showed a higher accuracy in predicting the chronological age of human than the model trained in human in predicting the chronological age of macaque. The cross application of the trained model introduced the brain cross-species age gap (BCAP) as an individual index to quantify the cross-species discrepancy along the temporal axis of brain development for each participant. We further showed that BCAP was associated with the behavioral performance in both visual sensitivity test and picture vocabulary test in the human samples. Taken together, our study situated the cross-species brain development along the chronological axis, which highlighted the disproportionately anatomical development in the human brain to extend our understanding of the potential evolutionary effects.

Article activity feed