Morphometric Similarity Networks Detect Microscale Cortical Organization and Predict Inter-Individual Cognitive Variation

NSPN Consortium, Jakob Seidlitz, František Váša, Maxwell Shinn, Rafael Romero-Garcia, Kirstie J Whitaker, Petra E Vértes, Konrad Wagstyl, Paul Kirkpatrick Reardon, Liv Clasen, Siyuan Liu, Adam Messinger, David A Leopold, Peter Fonagy, Raymond J Dolan, Peter B Jones, Ian M Goodyer, Armin Raznahan, Edward T Bullmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

220 Citations (Scopus)


Macroscopic cortical networks are important for cognitive function, but it remains challenging to construct anatomically plausible individual structural connectomes from human neuroimaging. We introduce a new technique for cortical network mapping based on inter-regional similarity of multiple morphometric parameters measured using multimodal MRI. In three cohorts (two human, one macaque), we find that the resulting morphometric similarity networks (MSNs) have a complex topological organization comprising modules and high-degree hubs. Human MSN modules recapitulate known cortical cytoarchitectonic divisions, and greater inter-regional morphometric similarity was associated with stronger inter-regional co-expression of genes enriched for neuronal terms. Comparing macaque MSNs with tract-tracing data confirmed that morphometric similarity was related to axonal connectivity. Finally, variation in the degree of human MSN nodes accounted for about 40% of between-subject variability in IQ. Morphometric similarity mapping provides a novel, robust, and biologically plausible approach to understanding how human cortical networks underpin individual differences in psychological functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-247.e7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2018


  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex/anatomy & histology
  • Cognition/physiology
  • Connectome/methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence/physiology
  • Macaca
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways/anatomy & histology
  • Young Adult


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