Identification of parallel hippocampo-fusiform and amygdalo-fusiform pathways in living humans
Smith C, Gultepe E, Conturo T, Akbudak E, Lori N
University of Kentucky
Diffusion tensor tracking (DTT) has been used to identify a previously unknown pathway interconnecting Brodmann mid-fusiform area 37 with anteromedial temporal cortex (e.g., amygdala). We investigated whether this pathway contains specific anatomical/ functional components. Using heuristic criteria, we identified two distinct superior and inferior components with characteristic trajectories and anatomical terminations in all 12 subjects: the amygdalo-fusiform pathway (superior), and a newly identified hippocampo-fusiform pathway (inferior). The superior component hooks sharply to terminate at the amygdala, and the inferior component curves gently to terminate at the hippocampal head. These parallel pathways have functional significance for lexical/visual processing and memory formation.