Exploring brain connectivity is fundamental to understanding the functional architecture of the cortex. In our study we employed tractography-based parcellation, combined with the principal component analysis statistical framework, to divide the occipital lobes into seven areas in a group of eighteen healthy participants. Tractography-based parcellation is a method based on diffusion imaging tractography, which segregates the living human brain into distinctive areas showing sharp differences in their anatomical connectivity. The results were compared to covarying functional networks involving distinct areas within the occipital lobes, that we obtained using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), as well as to other existing subdivisions of the occipital lobes. Our results showed similarities with functional imaging data in healthy controls and cognitive profiles in brain-damaged patients, although several differences with cytoarchitectonic, myelogenetic, myeloarchitectonic and functional maps were reported. While the similarities are encouraging, the potential validity and limitations of the differences observed are discussed. Taken together these results suggest that tractography-based parcellation mayprovide a new promising anatomical subdivision of the living human brain based onitsanatomical connectivity, which may benefit the understanding of clinical-neuroanatomical dissociations and functional neuroimaging results. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
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