Structural rearrangements of the cerebral cortex in children and adolescents

The cortical formations of the brain involved in visual functions (the occipital and temporo-parieto- occipital areas, the oculomotor area of the prefrontal cortex), as well as the motor cortex in the representation zone of the arm and the medial region of the frontal cortex adjacent to the limbic lobe, were studied in post-mortem material. The thickness of the cortex and cortical layer III, the sizes of pyramidal neurons, the specific volumes of neurons and intracortical vessels were studied in subjects of both sexes, from birth to the age of 20 years, at yearly intervals (103 observations) using histological techniques, computer morphometric and stereological analysis. The thickness of the cortex of the cerebral hemispheres was observed to intensively increase from birth to the age of 3 years in the occipital, temporo-parieto-occipital and prefrontal cortical areas involved in visual recognition processes. The increase in thickness of the cerebral cortex continues until the age of 6 in the occipital cortex and in the oculomotor area, until the age of 7 years in the temporo-parietooccipital area and the medial prefrontal area, and until the age of 8–9 years in the motor cortex. The sizes of pyramidal neurons increase until the age of 6 years in the motor cortex, until the age of 8 years on the medial surface of the frontal lobe, and until the age of 9–10 years in the temporo-parieto-occipital area and in the dorsolateral area of the prefrontal cortex. The specific volume of neurons and blood vessels in the cortex of the cerebral hemispheres decreases and the volume of intracortical fibers increases throughout the ascending ontogeny, which is manifested most intensively in the prefrontal cortex. © 2017, Pleiades Publishing, Inc.

Tsekhmistrenko T.A. 1, 2 , Vasilyeva V.A.1 , Shumeiko N.S. 1
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  • 1 Institute of Developmental Physiology, Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, 119121, Russian Federation
  • 2 Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
Ключевые слова
cortical thickness; human cerebral cortex; layer III thickness; morphometry; motor cortex; postnatal ontogeny; prefrontal cortex; specific volumes of neurons and intracortical vessels; stereometry; temporo-parieto-occipital cortical area; visual perception; volume of pyramidal neurons
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