Three-Dimensional Probabilistic Maps of Mesial Temporal Lobe Structures in Children and Adolescents’ Brains

The hippocampus and the adjacent perirhinal, entorhinal, temporopolar, and parahippocampal cortices are interconnected in a hierarchical MTL system crucial for memory processes. A probabilistic description of the anatomical location and spatial variability of MTL cortices in the child and adolescent brain would help to assess structure-function relationships. The rhinal sulcus (RS) and the collateral sulcus (CS) that border MTL cortices and influence their morphology have never been described in these populations. In this study, we identified the aforementioned structures on magnetic resonance images of 38 healthy subjects aged 7–17 years old. Relative to sulcal morphometry in the MTL, we showed RS-CS conformation is an additional factor of variability in the MTL that is not explained by other variables such as age, sex and brain volume; with an innovative method using permutation testing of the extrema of structures of interest, we showed that RS-SC conformation was not associated with differences of location of MTL sulci. Relative to probabilistic maps, we offered for the first time a systematic mapping of MTL structures in children and adolescent, mapping all the structures of the MTL system while taking sulcal morphology into account. Our results, with the probabilistic maps described here being freely available for download, will help to understand the anatomy of this region and help functional and clinical studies to accurately test structure-function hypotheses in the MTL during development.

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