Cortical chemoarchitecture shapes macroscale effective functional connectivity patterns in macaque cerebral cortex

Elise Turk, Lianne H. Scholtens, Martijn P. van den Heuvel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The mammalian cortex is a complex system of-at the microscale level-interconnected neurons and-at the macroscale level-interconnected areas, forming the infrastructure for local and global neural processing and information integration. While the effects of regional chemoarchitecture on local cortical activity are well known, the effect of local neurotransmitter receptor organization on the emergence of large scale region-to-region functional interactions remains poorly understood. Here, we examined reports of effective functional connectivity-as measured by the action of strychnine administration acting on the chemical balance of cortical areas-in relation to underlying regional variation in microscale neurotransmitter receptor density levels in the macaque cortex. Linking cortical variation in microscale receptor density levels to collated information on macroscale functional connectivity of the macaque cortex, we show macroscale patterns of effective corticocortical functional interactions-and in particular, the strength of connectivity of efferent macroscale pathways-to be related to the ratio of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter receptor densities of cortical areas. Our findings provide evidence for the microscale chemoarchitecture of cortical areas to have a direct stimulating influence on the emergence of macroscale functional connectivity patterns in the mammalian brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1856-1865
Number of pages10
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain networks
  • Functional connectivity
  • Graph theory
  • Neurotransmitter receptors
  • Strychnine


Dive into the research topics of 'Cortical chemoarchitecture shapes macroscale effective functional connectivity patterns in macaque cerebral cortex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this