Heuristics for connectivity-based brain parcellation of SMA/pre-SMA through force-directed graph layout

Alessandro Crippa, Leonardo Cerliani, Luca Nanetti, Jos B.T.M. Roerdink

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Abstract

We propose the use of force-directed graph layout as an explorative tool for connectivity-based brain parcellation studies. The method can be used as a heuristic to find the number of clusters intrinsically present in the data (if any) and to investigate their organisation. It provides an intuitive representation of the structure of the data and facilitates interactive exploration of properties of single seed voxels as well as relations among (groups of) voxels. We validate the method on synthetic data sets and we investigate the changes in connectivity in the supplementary motor cortex, a brain region whose parcellation has been previously investigated via connectivity studies. This region is supposed to present two easily distinguishable connectivity patterns, putatively denoted by SMA (supplementary motor area) and pre-SMA.

Our method provides insights with respect to the connectivity patterns of the premotor cortex. These present a substantial variation among subjects, and their subdivision into two well-separated clusters is not always straightforward. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2176-2184
Number of pages9
JournalNeuroimage
Volume54
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1-Feb-2011

Keywords

  • Diffusion imaging
  • Tractography
  • Connectivity
  • Brain parcellation
  • Supplementary motor cortex
  • DIFFUSION TENSOR
  • ANATOMICAL CONNECTIVITY
  • PREFRONTAL CORTEX
  • MRI
  • AREAS
  • CYTOARCHITECTURE
  • VISUALIZATION
  • TRACTOGRAPHY
  • REGIONS
  • MAPS

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