Tractography protocols for the neonatal brain, standardised against the adult human and macaque
Shaun of Warrington1, Elinor Thompson1, Jessica Dubois2, Luke Baxter3, Rebeccah Slater3, Rogier B Mars4,5, Saad Jbabdi4, Matteo Bastiani1, and Stamatios N Sotiropoulos1,4,6
1Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 2University of Paris, Inserm, NeuroDiderot Unit; University Paris-Saclay, CEA, NeuroSpin center, Paris, France, 3Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, 4Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, FMRIB Centre, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, 5Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Netherlands, 6National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, Nottingham, United Kingdom
The neonatal brain undergoes rapid development in the months after birth. Diffusion tractography is a unique method for probing developing white matter connections. We present a novel and comprehensive library of tractography protocols for the neonatal brain, whilst ensuring correspondence with previously developed protocols for the adult and macaque brain. We demonstrate protocol robustness across data quality and show that the resultant tracts capture a-priori known trends in white matter microstructure. We show that these protocols open avenues for quantitative comparisons across the lifespan, but also species, which we exemplify by revealing developmental trends in connectivity patterns.
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