Estimating the influence of sulcogyral patterns in neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders.
The brain is made up of ridges and grooves that can form characteristic patterns. In the Troiani lab, we use anatomical tracing techniques and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify these patterns. We then use these patterns as a proxy for whether neurons in the underlying brain tissue are connected and sending signals in a standard or atypical way. In a recent study, we found that having a certain sulcal connectivity pattern within the orbitofrontal cortex of the brain (the region just above the eyes) is protective against several brain disorders, including Schizophrenia, ADHD, and Bipolar Disorder. By characterizing how these patterns vary within patient populations, we hope to better understand how this metric can be useful as a marker of risk for complex neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders.