Neuroimaging: Edited by Arthur TogaReceptor mapping: architecture of the human cerebral cortexZilles, Karla,b,c; Amunts, Katrina,c,dAuthor Information aInstitute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1, INM-2), Research Centre Jülich, Jülich, Germany bC. & O. Vogt-Institute of Brain Research, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany cJülich-Aachen Research Alliance, JARA-Brain, Germany dDepartment of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany Correspondence to Karl Zilles, Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine, Research Centre Jülich, D-52425 Jülich, Germany Tel: +49 2461 61 3015; e-mail: email@example.com Current Opinion in Neurology: August 2009 - Volume 22 - Issue 4 - p 331-339 doi: 10.1097/WCO.0b013e32832d95db Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review Cytoarchitectonical brain mapping is of growing interest as a powerful tool for localization of activated brain regions in functional neuroimaging. Mapping of neurotransmitter receptors can provide novel molecular and functionally relevant information to the available cytoarchitectonical brain maps, because receptors are key molecules of neurotransmission. This review highlights the relation between cytoarchitectonical parcellations and the regionally inhomogeneous distribution of receptors. It will demonstrate the potential of receptor mapping for novel and functionally relevant insights into the regional organization of the human cortex. Recent findings Mapping of a single receptor type can already reveal borders of functionally and cytoarchitectonically distinct cortical regions. The combined mapping of various receptors in each cortical area (receptor fingerprint) represents the balance between different neurotransmitter systems and often reveals hitherto unknown parcellations. Different brain regions are identified as parts of distinct functional systems. Summary Receptor mapping of the human brain, particularly multireceptor mapping, provides a novel and multimodal view of its anatomical, functional and molecular organization. It reveals organizational principles of the segregation of cortical and subcortical structures. It improves our understanding of the brain's architecture beyond the limits of cytoarchitectonics and serves as a basis for clinical and pharmacological studies of brain diseases. © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.