The BigMac dataset: interconnecting MR signals with microstructure profiles in the cortex
Amy FD Howard1, Istvan N Huszar1, Michiel Cottaar1, Greg Daubney2, Alexandre A Khrapitchev3, Rogier B Mars1,4, Jeroen Mollink1, Lea Roumazeilles2, Connor Scott5, Adele Smart5, Jerome Sallet2, Saad Jbabdi1, and Karla L Miller1
1Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (FMRIB), Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, 2Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, Experimental Psychology, Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, 3MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology, Department of Oncology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, 4Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Netherlands, 5Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
Microscopy data can provide detailed descriptions of how cortical microstructure varies across the brain. However, the relationship between cortical microstructure and MRI signals remains relatively unexplored. Here we develop a pipeline to extract cortical profiles from co-registered MRI and microscopy data in the BigMac dataset. We compare cortical profiles of cell density and microstructural dispersion from Nissl-stained histology slides with matched profiles from structural and diffusion MRI. Using CCA we find modes of microstructure variation common to microscopy and structural MRI, but not diffusion, indicating variable sensitivity of the MR metrics to brain-wide variations in Nissl-stained cytoarchitecture.
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