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PLoS One. 2013 Dec 5;8(12):e82107. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082107. eCollection 2013.

Spatio-temporal correlation tensors reveal functional structure in human brain.

Author information

1
Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America ; Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America ; Department of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America ; Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America ; Chemical and Physical Biology Program, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America.

Abstract

Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been commonly used to measure functional connectivity between cortical regions, while diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) can be used to characterize structural connectivity of white matter tracts. In principle combining resting state fMRI and DTI data could allow characterization of structure-function relations of distributed neural networks. However, due to differences in the biophysical origins of their signals and in the tissues to which they apply, there has been no direct integration of these techniques to date. We demonstrate that MRI signal variations and power spectra in a resting state are largely comparable between gray matter and white matter, that there are temporal correlations of fMRI signals that persist over long distances within distinct white matter structures, and that neighboring intervoxel correlations of low frequency resting state signals showed distinct anisotropy in many regions. These observations suggest that MRI signal variations from within white matter in a resting state may convey similar information as their corresponding fluctuations of MRI signals in gray matter. We thus derive a local spatio-temporal correlation tensor which captures directional variations of resting-state correlations and which reveals distinct structures in both white and gray matter. This novel concept is illustrated with in vivo experiments in a resting state, which demonstrate the potential of the technique for mapping the functional structure of neural networks and for direct integration of structure-function relations in the human brain.

PMID:
24339997
PMCID:
PMC3855380
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0082107
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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