Characterizing function-structure relationships in the human visual system with functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging

Neuroimage. 2004 Apr;21(4):1452-63. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2003.11.022.


A key objective in neuroscience is to improve our understanding of the relationship between brain function and structure. We investigated this in the posterior visual pathways of healthy volunteers by applying functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) with tractography. The optic radiations were segmented using the Probabilistic Index of Connectivity (PICo) tractography algorithm and extracted at several thresholds of connection confidence. The mean fractional anisotropy (FA) of the estimated tracts was found to correlate significantly with fMRI measures of visual cortex activity (induced by a photic stimulation paradigm). The results support the hypothesis that the visual cortical fMRI response is constrained by the external anatomical connections of the subserving optic radiations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Anisotropy
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted*
  • Linear Models
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Models, Statistical
  • Nerve Net / anatomy & histology
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Optic Nerve / anatomy & histology*
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Visual Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*


  • Oxygen