The arcuate fasciculus is a white-matter fiber tract that is involved in human language. Here we compared cortical connectivity in humans, chimpanzees and macaques (Macaca mulatta) and found a prominent temporal lobe projection of the human arcuate fasciculus that is much smaller or absent in nonhuman primates. This human specialization may be relevant to the evolution of language.
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We thank Q. Shen and F. Zhao for technical assistance, and M.F.S. Rushworth and M.J. Konner for many helpful comments. We also thank P. Croxson for collecting the human scans and M.-M. Carrasco for assistance with tracking control pathways. This work was supported by the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience Science and Technology Center Program of the National Science Foundation under agreement no. IBN-9876754, Emory University Research Committee, James S. McDonnell Foundation grant 21002093 to T.M.P., RO1EB002009 to X.H., the Yerkes Base Grant (NIH RR-00165) and the UK Medical Research Council to T.E.J.B.
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Rilling, J., Glasser, M., Preuss, T. et al. The evolution of the arcuate fasciculus revealed with comparative DTI. Nat Neurosci 11, 426–428 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn2072
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