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Diffusion tractography-based fingerprinting of gray matter is an emerging method, enabling insight into individual connectional, and thus functional, parcelation of cortex and deep gray using non-invasive MR imaging in living human subjects. The ability to identify functionally distinct gray matter regions opens new perspectives for neuroscience for applications as diverse as delineating targets for interference studies, investigating potentially distinct regions within a single anatomical area, defining likely remote sites of deafferentiation in stroke, or localizing targets in a clinical context for pre-surgical planning. Localized function in the brain has a large number of important implications. It is fundamental to the practice of neurology, enabling topoanatomical diagnosis of lesions based on specific deficits, the mainstay of neurological assessment to this day. Tracing anatomical connections, diffusion tractography enables definition of boundaries between brain regions that are putatively distinct in their function and their cytoarchitecture. The ability to identify functionally and cytoarchitectonically distinct gray matter regions opens new perspectives for neuroscience for applications as diverse as delineating targets for interference studies, investigating potentially distinct regions within a single anatomical area, defining likely remote sites of deafferentiation in stroke, or localizing targets in a clinical context for pre-surgical planning. This technique has been found to generalize to a number of different cortical and subcortical gray matter regions. It would be possible to use connectivity profiling to generate a complete division of the cortex, in the manner of a Brodmann atlas. With ever-improving methodology, a connectivity-based parcelation of the entire cortex may eventually be possible, it is likely that in the coming years science will continue to explore the boundaries of this promising technique. © 2009 Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/B978-0-12-374709-9.00017-1

Type

Chapter

Book title

Diffusion MRI

Publication Date

01/12/2009

Pages

377 - 402