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Using Diffusion Tractography to Predict Cortical Connection Strength and Distance: A Quantitative Comparison with Tracers in the Monkey

Donahue, Chad J.; Sotiropoulos, Stamatios N.; Jbabdi, Saad; Hernandez-Fernandez, Moises; Behrens, Timothy E.; Dyrby, Tim B.; Coalson, Timothy; Kennedy, Henry; Knoblauch, Kenneth; Van Essen, David C.; Glasser, Matthew F.

Authors

Chad J. Donahue

Saad Jbabdi

Moises Hernandez-Fernandez

Timothy E. Behrens

Tim B. Dyrby

Timothy Coalson

Henry Kennedy

Kenneth Knoblauch

David C. Van Essen

Matthew F. Glasser



Abstract

Tractography based on diffusion MRI offers the promise of characterizing many aspects of long-distance connectivity in the brain, but requires quantitative validation to assess its strengths and limitations. Here, we evaluate tractography's ability to estimate the presence and strength of connections between areas of macaque neocortex by comparing its results with published data from retrograde tracer injections. Probabilistic tractography was performed on high-quality postmortem diffusion imaging scans from two Old World monkey brains. Tractography connection weights were estimated using a fractional scaling method based on normalized streamline density. We found a correlation between log-transformed tractography and tracer connection weights of r = 0.59, twice that reported in a recent study on the macaque. Using a novel method to estimate interareal connection lengths from tractography streamlines, we regressed out the distance dependence of connection strength and found that the correlation between tractography and tracers remains positive, albeit substantially reduced. Altogether, these observations provide a valuable, data-driven perspective on both the strengths and limitations of tractography for analyzing interareal corticocortical connectivity in nonhuman primates and a framework for assessing future tractography methodological refinements objectively.

Citation

Donahue, C. J., Sotiropoulos, S. N., Jbabdi, S., Hernandez-Fernandez, M., Behrens, T. E., Dyrby, T. B., …Glasser, M. F. (2016). Using Diffusion Tractography to Predict Cortical Connection Strength and Distance: A Quantitative Comparison with Tracers in the Monkey. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(25), 6758-6770. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0493-16.2016

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 14, 2016
Online Publication Date Jun 22, 2016
Publication Date Jun 22, 2016
Deposit Date Apr 5, 2018
Publicly Available Date Apr 5, 2018
Journal Journal of Neuroscience
Electronic ISSN 1529-2401
Publisher Society for Neuroscience
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 36
Issue 25
Pages 6758-6770
DOI https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0493-16.2016
Keywords cerebral cortex; connectivity; diffusion tractography; macaque; neuroanatomy; retrograde tracing
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/50955
Publisher URL http://www.jneurosci.org/content/36/25/6758
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0





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