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PLoS One. 2013 Oct 1;8(10):e75065. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075065. eCollection 2013.

Validation of DTI tractography-based measures of primary motor area connectivity in the squirrel monkey brain.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America ; Institute of Imaging Science, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America.


Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography provides noninvasive measures of structural cortico-cortical connectivity of the brain. However, the agreement between DTI-tractography-based measures and histological 'ground truth' has not been quantified. In this study, we reconstructed the 3D density distribution maps (DDM) of fibers labeled with an anatomical tracer, biotinylated dextran amine (BDA), as well as DTI tractography-derived streamlines connecting the primary motor (M1) cortex to other cortical regions in the squirrel monkey brain. We evaluated the agreement in M1-cortical connectivity between the fibers labeled in the brain tissue and DTI streamlines on a regional and voxel-by-voxel basis. We found that DTI tractography is capable of providing inter-regional connectivity comparable to the neuroanatomical connectivity, but is less reliable measuring voxel-to-voxel variations within regions.

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