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What can magnetic resonance tractography teach us about human brain anatomy?

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(Sep. 26, 2011) — Magnetic resonance tractography (MRT) is a valuable, noninvasive imaging tool for studying human brain anatomy and, as MRT methods and technologies advance, has the potential to yield new and illuminating information on brain activity and connectivity. Critical information about the promise and limitations of this technology is explored in a forward-looking review article in the new neuroscience journal Brain Connectivity.

Diffusion tractography allows scientists to visualize and determine the location of white matter in the brain. If current technological challenges associated with MRT are recognized and overcome, such as limitations in its accuracy and quantification, this imaging technique could make a significant contribution to the field of brain connectivity and to an understanding of how information and signals are transmitted across the brain, according to Saad Jbabdi and Heidi Johansen-Berg, University of Oxford, U.K., in the review article entitled, "Tractography: Where Do We Go from Here?"

"This emerging technology offers a new window into human brain anatomy. The technique has enormous potential for revealing the architecture of the human brain and its breakdown in disease. Recent developments mean that some of the limitations and challenges associated with this technique could be effectively tackled in the near future" says Heidi Johansen-Berg, PhD, co-author and Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain.

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The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by staff) from materials provided by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Journal Reference:

  1. Saad Jbabdi and Heidi Johansen-Berg. Tractography: Where Do We Go from Here?Brain Connectivity, Volume 1, Number 3, 2011 DOI: 10.1089/brain.2011.0033

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of or its staff.