Limits of dMRI brain studies

This 2015 macaque study found:

“∼50% of the cortical surface was effectively inaccessible for long-range diffusion tracking.

Current and future high-resolution dMRI [diffusion magnetic resonance imaging] studies of the human brain will need to develop methods to overcome the challenges posed by superficial white matter systems to determine long-range anatomical connections accurately.”

The researchers stated:

“Although in many respects the macaque brain is a good approximation of the human brain, both species have undergone profound evolutionary changes since the time of their most recent common ancestor living more than 20 million years ago, particularly in regard to the massive expansion of the cerebral cortex in the human brain. Thus, it is of great value to assess human anatomical connections directly and comprehensively.”

Sound familiar? That’s also the point I made in Do popular science memes justify researchers’ cruelties to monkeys? “Superficial white matter fiber systems impede detection of long-range cortical connections in diffusion MR tractography”

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