Behrens, T., et al.: Non-invasive mapping of connections between human thalamus and cortex using diffusion imaging. Nat. Neurosci. 6(7), 750-757

Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK.
Nature Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 14.98). 08/2003; 6(7):750-7. DOI: 10.1038/nn1075
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Evidence concerning anatomical connectivities in the human brain is sparse and based largely on limited post-mortem observations. Diffusion tensor imaging has previously been used to define large white-matter tracts in the living human brain, but this technique has had limited success in tracing pathways into gray matter. Here we identified specific connections between human thalamus and cortex using a novel probabilistic tractography algorithm with diffusion imaging data. Classification of thalamic gray matter based on cortical connectivity patterns revealed distinct subregions whose locations correspond to nuclei described previously in histological studies. The connections that we found between thalamus and cortex were similar to those reported for non-human primates and were reproducible between individuals. Our results provide the first quantitative demonstration of reliable inference of anatomical connectivity between human gray matter structures using diffusion data and the first connectivity-based segmentation of gray matter.

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Available from: Paul M Matthews, Jan 11, 2015
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    • "The anterior, posterior, and long segments of the arcuate fasciculus were dissected using a 2 ROI approach as described by Catani et al. (2007), and the cortico-spinal tract and optic radiations were dissected following the guidelines provided by Thiebaut de Schotten, ffytche and colleagues (2011). The anterior thalamic and fronto-striatal projections were reconstructed using previously published methods (Behrens et al. 2003; Cohen et al. 2009). We followed earlier reports in dissecting the frontal aslant tract, orbitopolar tracts, and frontal superior and inferior longitudinal fasciculi (Catani, Dell'acqua, Vergani et al. 2012; Thiebaut de Schotten et al. 2012). "
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    • "These tractography-derived metrics were chosen to investigate test-rest reliability differences between probabilistic and deterministic tractography. Further, studies using connectivity-defined regions (CDR) are often reported in the literature (Behrens et al. 2003a; Bach et al. 2011; Saygin et al. 2011; Cerliani et al. 2012) but to the best of our knowledge no extant study has employed CDR to the investigation of the entorhinal cortex (as done here). Additionally, current literature has demonstrated testretest reliability of graph theory-based white matter connectivity metrics (Owen et al. 2013; Buchanan et al. 2014). "
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    • "We based our selection of a priori defined cortical ROIs on previous studies of both structural (Behrens et al., 2003a) and functional (Zhang et al., 2008) thalamocortical connectivity. Whilst the use of a more intricate parcellation of cortical areas would have generated different and possibly more detailed FC maps, we were restricted in our choice of ROIs since high correlations between timecourses from different cortical regions would result in unstable estimates of partial correlation (Zhang et al., 2008), and could have led to difficulties interpreting the numerous FC maps. "
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