Track-Density Ratio Mapping With Fiber Types in the Cerebral Cortex Using Diffusion-Weighted MRI

Sang Han Choi, Gangwon Jeong, Young Eun Hwang, Yong Bo Kim, Haigun Lee, Zang Hee Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The nerve fibers are divided into three categories: projection, commissural, and association fibers. This study demonstrated a novel cortical mapping method based on these three fiber categories using MR tractography data. The MR fiber-track data were extracted using the diffusion-weighted 3T-MRI data from 19 individuals’ Human Connectome Project dataset. Anatomical MR images in each dataset were parcellated using FreeSurfer software and Brainnetome atlas. The 5 million extracted tracks per subject by MRtrix software were classified based on the basic cortical structure (cortical area in the left and right hemisphere, subcortical area), after the tracks validation procedure. The number of terminals for each categorized track per unit-sized cortical area (1 mm3) was defined as the track-density in that cortical area. Track-density ratio mapping with fiber types was achieved by mapping the density-dependent color intensity for each categorized tracks with a different primary color. The mapping results showed a highly localized, unique density ratio map determined by fiber types. Furthermore, the quantitative group data analysis based on the parcellation information revealed that the majority of nerve fibers in the brain are association fibers, particularly in temporal, inferior parietal, and occipital lobes, while the projection and commissural fibers were mainly located in the superior part of the brain. Hemispheric asymmetries in the fiber density were also observed, such as long association fiber in the Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas. We believe this new dimensional brain mapping information allows us to further understand brain anatomy, function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number715571
JournalFrontiers in Neuroanatomy
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul 23

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Brain Research Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), which is funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (2017M3C7A1049026). Data were provided by the Human Connectome Project, WU-Minn Consortium (Principal Investigators: David Van Essen and Kamil Ugurbil; 1U54MH091657) funded by the NIH Institutes and Centers that support the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research; and by the McDonnell Center for Systems Neuroscience at Washington University.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Choi, Jeong, Hwang, Kim, Lee and Cho.


  • brain mapping
  • diffusion-weighted MRI
  • human connectome project
  • nerve fibers
  • tractography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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