Functional anatomy of the thalamus as a model of integrated structural and functional connectivity of the human brain in vivo

Mastropasqua, Chiara, Bozzali, Marco, Spanò, Barbara, Koch, Giacomo and Cercignani, Mara (2015) Functional anatomy of the thalamus as a model of integrated structural and functional connectivity of the human brain in vivo. Brain Topography, 28 (4). pp. 548-558. ISSN 0896-0267

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Abstract

While methods of measuring non-invasively both, functional and structural brain connectivity are available, the degree of overlap between them is still unknown. In this paper this issue is addressed by investigating the connectivity pattern of a brain structure with many, well characterized structural connections, namely the thalamus. Diffusion-weighted and resting state (RS) functional MRI (fMRI) data were collected in a group of 38 healthy participants. Probabilistic tractography was performed to parcellate the thalamus into regions structurally connected to different cortical areas. The resulting regions were used as seeds for seed-based analysis of RS fMRI data. The tractographic parcellation was thus cross-validated against functional connectivity data by evaluating the overlap between the functional and structural thalamo-cortical connections originating from the parcellated regions. Our data show only a partial overall correspondence between structural and functional connections, in the same group of healthy individuals, thus suggesting that the two approaches provide complementary and not overlapping information. Future studies are warranted to extend the results we obtained in the thalamus to other structures, and to confirm that the mechanisms behind functional connectivity are more complex than just expressing structural connectivity.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Resting-state fMRI – Tractography – Diffusion – Thalamo-cortical connections
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Neuroscience
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry > RC0346 Neurology. Diseases of the nervous system Including speech disorders
Depositing User: Patricia Butler
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2015 20:19
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2017 17:21
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/54568
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