Midsagittal brain variation and MRI shape analysis of the precuneus in adult individuals

Emiliano Bruner*, Gizeh Rangel de Lazaro, Jose Manuel de la Cuetara, Manuel Martin-Loeches, Roberto Colom, Heidi I. L. Jacobs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Recent analyses indicate that the precuneus is one of the main centres of integration in terms of functional and structural processes within the human brain. This neuroanatomical element is formed by different subregions, involved in visuo-spatial integration, memory and self-awareness. We analysed the midsagittal brain shape in a sample of adult humans (n = 90) to evidence the patterns of variability and geometrical organization of this area. Interestingly, the major brain covariance pattern within adult humans is strictly associated with the relative proportions of the precuneus. Its morphology displays a marked individual variation, both in terms of geometry (mostly in its longitudinal dimensions) and anatomy (patterns of convolution). No patent differences are evident between males and females, and the allometric effect of size is minimal. However, in terms of morphology, the precuneus does not represent an individual module, being influenced by different neighbouring structures. Taking into consideration the apparent involvement of the precuneus in higher-order human brain functions and evolution, its wide variation further stresses the important role of these deep parietal areas in modern neuroanatomical organization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-376
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • shape variation
  • brain geometry
  • geometric morphometrics
  • parietal lobe


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