The parietal cortex of the chimpanzee: anatomy and variability

E.p. Gilissen, Andrzej SULIGA Marek, Rudi Deklerck, Edgard Nyssen, Rik Achten, J.m. Erwin, P.r. Hof, C.c. Sherwood

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)


We here focus on the sulcal pattern of the parietal region in the neocortex of common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) as an example of intraspecific analysis of sulcal pattern variation. More specifically, our region of interest is bordered anteriorly by the central sulcus, posteriorly by the lunate sulcus and includes the posterior region of the sylvian (lateral) fissure. This region of the chimpanzee neocortex corresponds to the human parietal operculum and seems to have been a major determinant in human brain evolution, essentially through visuospatial integrative processes. A limited number of well-defined sulcal pattern combinations are recognized in the human parietal operculum, whose intraspecific variability is therefore characterized by sulcal pattern types, and not by random occurrence of sulcal combinations. Chimpanzees are the sister group of humans but exhibit a brain size (405 g) some three times smaller than ours (1330 g). Moreover, multivariate approaches of brain proportions point out that human brain organization is very different from that of chimpanzees. On the other hand, the overall aspect of chimpanzee and human neocortex shows striking similarities. We therefore here investigate how sulcal pattern variability in common chimpanzee parietal cortex could be characterized by using a new surface flattening technique developed in order to obtain a complete view of the cortical surface of the brain, providing a further step in recognizing and labelling sulci on the lateral surface of the brain.
Original languageFrench
Title of host publicationColloque de la Société Francophone de Primatologie, Paris, France, 22, 23 et 24 octobre 2007
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Publication series

NameColloque de la Société Francophone de Primatologie, Paris, France, 22, 23 et 24 octobre 2007


  • human
  • chimpanzee
  • neocortex
  • parietal operculum


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