A Bayesian framework for global tractography

Neuroimage. 2007 Aug 1;37(1):116-29. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.04.039. Epub 2007 Apr 27.


We readdress the diffusion tractography problem in a global and probabilistic manner. Instead of tracking through local orientations, we parameterise the connexions between brain regions at a global level, and then infer on global and local parameters simultaneously in a Bayesian framework. This approach offers a number of important benefits. The global nature of the tractography reduces sensitivity to local noise and modelling errors. By constraining tractography to ensure a connexion is found, and then inferring on the exact location of the connexion, we increase the robustness of connectivity-based parcellations, allowing parcellations of connexions that were previously invisible to tractography. The Bayesian framework allows a direct comparison of the evidence for connecting and non-connecting models, to test whether the connexion is supported by the data. Crucially, by explicit parameterisation of the connexion between brain regions, we infer on a parameter that is shared with models of functional connectivity. This model is a first step toward the joint inference on functional and anatomical connectivity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Bayes Theorem*
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Computer Graphics
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Frontal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Geniculate Bodies / anatomy & histology
  • Hand / innervation
  • Haplorhini
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Models, Statistical
  • Motor Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Nerve Fibers / ultrastructure
  • Nerve Net / anatomy & histology*
  • Neural Networks, Computer*
  • Parietal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Putamen / anatomy & histology
  • Software*
  • Temporal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Thalamus / anatomy & histology
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology