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Abstract #0866

Beyond crossing fibers: investigating the prevalence of bottleneck configurations in the human brain white matter with diffusion tractography

Kurt G Schilling1, Francois Rheault2, Laurent Petit3, Chantal Tax4, Maxime Descoteaux2, Adam W Anderson5, and Bennett A Landman5
1Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, United States, 2Universite de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada, 3CEA University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France, 4Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom, 5Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States

Bottleneck regions of the brain, or areas where multiple white matter pathways of the brain converge and subsequently diverge, present a challenge to anatomically accurate fiber tractography of the brain. In this work, we investigated the prevalence and locations of bottleneck regions. Our results indicate that most white matter contains multiple overlapping and crossing bundles. Moreover, individual orientations withina voxel are associated with multiple bundles, which represent bottlenecks. These findings have profound implications for tractography algorithms which aim to map unknown connections across the brain, and strengthen the awareness of limitations or challenges facing these image processing techniques.

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