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Abstract #3492

Tract covariance networks in expert dancers and pianists

Hsien-Te Su1, Pin-Yu Chen2, Yu-Jen Chen1, Yung-Chin Hsu1, Wei-Chi Li3, Tzu-Yi Hong3, Li-Fen Chen3,4, Jen-Chuen Hsieh3,4, and Wen-Yih Isaac Tseng1,5

1Institute of Medical Device and Imaging, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan, 2Department of Life Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, 3Institute of Brain Science, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, 4Integrated Brain Research Unit, Division of Clinical Research, Department of Medical Research, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, 5Molecular Imaging Center, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

To investigate plasticity of white matter tracts in expert dancers and pianists, we used diffusion spectrum imaging to measure generalized fractional anisotropy (GFA) of 76 major white matter tracts. A novel metric called tract covariance was defined as the correlation between each pair of tracts in variations of the mean GFA values across subjects. As compared with control subjects, expert dancers showed overall enhancement of the tract covariance, whereas expert pianists showed enhancement specific to sensory-motor processing. The findings underline the different effects on white matter tract plasticity following different types of long-term training.

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