Comprehensive cortical thickness and surface area comparison between young Uyghur and Han Chinese cohorts.

Magnetic resonance imaging

PubMedID: 27067474

Lu J, Jiang C, Wang J, Jia W. Comprehensive cortical thickness and surface area comparison between young Uyghur and Han Chinese cohorts. Magn Reson Imaging. 2016;.
We hypothesized that the brain structural differences as discovered previously between Westerners and East Asians could also be revealed between Han Chinese and Uyghur, which were genetically related ethnic groups with distinct languages. We conducted a brain MRI structural comparison in terms of cortical thickness and surface area between 15 healthy young Uyghurs and 15 age-matched Han Chinese. Widespread regions with significantly greater cortical thickness were found in the Uyghurs, and their distribution showed strong resemblance to previous "Westerners vs. Asians" findings. While surface area analysis displayed less widespread brain differences. Notably, our detected regions with structural differences contained a large part of language-specific or at least closely language-related brain areas, which may partly be attributable to the brain plasticity respectively driven by Uyghur and Mandarin. Our findings will help to better understand the neurobiological basis of interethnic differences along with the language processing mechanisms of Han Chinese and Uyghur.