Research ArticleNEUROSCIENCE

A new method for accurate in vivo mapping of human brain connections using microstructural and anatomical information

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Science Advances  29 Jul 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 31, eaba8245
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba8245

Abstract

Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging is a noninvasive imaging modality that has been extensively used in the literature to study the neuronal architecture of the brain in a wide range of neurological conditions using tractography. However, recent studies highlighted that the anatomical accuracy of the reconstructions is inherently limited and challenged its appropriateness. Several solutions have been proposed to tackle this issue, but none of them proved effective to overcome this fundamental limitation. In this work, we present a novel processing framework to inject into the reconstruction problem basic prior knowledge about brain anatomy and its organization and evaluate its effectiveness using both simulated and real human brain data. Our results indicate that our proposed method dramatically increases the accuracy of the estimated brain networks and, thus, represents a major step forward for the study of connectivity.

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