(1) Department of Anatomy, University of Athens School of Medicine, Athens, Greece
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The main purpose of our study was to measure the cortical thickness of the cortical connections of the human nucleus accumbens in order to explore potential morphometric correlations. Furthermore, we tested the hypothesis of a morphometric correlation between the nucleus accumbens and the cingulate gyrus.
Materials and methods
The material consisted of 41 cerebral hemispheres (25 left and 16 right) from 25 normal human brains. They were obtained from 22 males who were 50–90 years old, and from three females who were 67–94 years old. We measured the thickness of four cortical areas connected to the nucleus accumbens: the cingulate, entorhinal, orbitofrontal and piriform cortices, as well as the height of the subgenual part of the cingulate gyrus.
We found a very statistically significant correlation between the orbitofrontal and entorhinal cortices, significant correlation between the cingulate and orbitofrontal cortices, significant correlation between the piriform and orbitofrontal cortices and significant correlation between the piriform and entorhinal cortices.
Our study indicated that the cingulate cortex is probably the thickest cortical area connected to the nucleus accumbens. It also suggested a potentially more significant relation between the orbitofrontal cortex and the limbic system than what is currently believed. Furthermore, we provided evidence that the size of the nucleus accumbens is neither correlated with the thickness of its cortical connections nor with the size of the cingulate gyrus.