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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 639430, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/639430
Review Article

Splenium of Corpus Callosum: Patterns of Interhemispheric Interaction in Children and Adults

1LREN, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) and University of Lausanne, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland
2Department of Radiology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) and University of Lausanne, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland

Received 13 December 2012; Revised 8 February 2013; Accepted 9 February 2013

Academic Editor: Maurice Ptito

Copyright © 2013 Maria G. Knyazeva. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The splenium of the corpus callosum connects the posterior cortices with fibers varying in size from thin late-myelinating axons in the anterior part, predominantly connecting parietal and temporal areas, to thick early-myelinating fibers in the posterior part, linking primary and secondary visual areas. In the adult human brain, the function of the splenium in a given area is defined by the specialization of the area and implemented via excitation and/or suppression of the contralateral homotopic and heterotopic areas at the same or different level of visual hierarchy. These mechanisms are facilitated by interhemispheric synchronization of oscillatory activity, also supported by the splenium. In postnatal ontogenesis, structural MRI reveals a protracted formation of the splenium during the first two decades of human life. In doing so, the slow myelination of the splenium correlates with the formation of interhemispheric excitatory influences in the extrastriate areas and the EEG synchronization, while the gradual increase of inhibitory effects in the striate cortex is linked to the local inhibitory circuitry. Reshaping interactions between interhemispherically distributed networks under various perceptual contexts allows sparsification of responses to superfluous information from the visual environment, leading to a reduction of metabolic and structural redundancy in a child's brain.