Callosal fiber length scales with brain size according to functional lateralization, evolution, and development
Preprint bioRxiv. 2021-04-01; :
Brain size significantly impacts the organization of white matter fibers. Fiber length scaling – the degree to which fiber length varies according to brain size – was overlooked. We investigated how fiber lengths within the corpus callosum, the most prominent white matter tract, vary according to brain size. The results showed substantial variation in length scaling among callosal fibers, replicated in two large healthy cohorts (∼2000 individuals). The underscaled callosal fibers mainly connected the precentral gyrus and parietal cortices, whereas the overscaled callosal fibers mainly connected the prefrontal cortices. The variation in such length scaling was biologically meaningful: larger scaling corresponded to larger neurite density index but smaller fractional anisotropy values; cortical regions connected by the callosal fibers with larger scaling were more lateralized functionally as well as phylogenetically and ontogenetically more recent than their counterparts. These findings highlight an interaction between interhemispheric communication and organizational and adaptive principles underlying brain development and evolution.