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Title: Track-weighted functional connectivity (TW-FC): a tool for characterizing the structural-functional connections in the brain.
Austin Authors: Calamante, Fernando;Masterton, Richard A J;Tournier, Jacques-Donald;Smith, Robert E;Willats, Lisa;Raffelt, David;Connelly, Alan
Affiliation: Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date: 5-Jan-2013
Publication information: Neuroimage 2013; 70(): 199-210
Abstract: MRI provides a powerful tool for studying the functional and structural connections in the brain non-invasively. The technique of functional connectivity (FC) exploits the intrinsic temporal correlations of slow spontaneous signal fluctuations to characterise brain functional networks. In addition, diffusion MRI fibre-tracking can be used to study the white matter structural connections. In recent years, there has been considerable interest in combining these two techniques to provide an overall structural-functional description of the brain. In this work we applied the recently proposed super-resolution track-weighted imaging (TWI) methodology to demonstrate how whole-brain fibre-tracking data can be combined with FC data to generate a track-weighted (TW) FC map of FC networks. The method was applied to data from 8 healthy volunteers, and illustrated with (i) FC networks obtained using a seeded connectivity-based analysis (seeding in the precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex, PCC, known to be part of the default mode network), and (ii) with FC networks generated using independent component analysis (in particular, the default mode, attention, visual, and sensory-motor networks). TW-FC maps showed high intensity in white matter structures connecting the nodes of the FC networks. For example, the cingulum bundles show the strongest TW-FC values in the PCC seeded-based analysis, due to their major role in the connection between medial frontal cortex and precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex; similarly the superior longitudinal fasciculus was well represented in the attention network, the optic radiations in the visual network, and the corticospinal tract and corpus callosum in the sensory-motor network. The TW-FC maps highlight the white matter connections associated with a given FC network, and their intensity in a given voxel reflects the functional connectivity of the part of the nodes of the network linked by the structural connections traversing that voxel. They therefore contain a different (and novel) image contrast from that of the images used to generate them. The results shown in this study illustrate the potential of the TW-FC approach for the fusion of structural and functional data into a single quantitative image. This technique could therefore have important applications in neuroscience and neurology, such as for voxel-based comparison studies.
Gov't Doc #: 23298749
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.12.054
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Brain.anatomy & histology.physiology
Brain Mapping.methods
Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
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