Directional colour encoding of the human thalamus by diffusion tensor imaging

Neurosci Lett. 2008 Apr 4;434(3):322-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.02.013. Epub 2008 Feb 12.


The potential of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in brain imaging in terms of the in vivo mapping of neuroanatomy is generally accepted. Mostly, analyses of deep brain structures were based on complex methodical backgrounds. In the present study, the delineation of groups of thalamic nuclei with similar projection characteristics was investigated in healthy human subjects using a novel differentiated colour encoding approach of DTI data without the use of statistical calculations. With the application of this directional colour encoding of the longest eigenvector of every voxel-specific tensor, at least three functional groups in the thalamus with different projection directions could be differentiated. The method displayed, furthermore, a high symmetry and stability in the analysis of the individual subjects. In summary, substantial neuroanatomical information can be gained for deep subcortical gray matter structures such as the thalamus with an improved detection and directional differentiation of voxel-specific tensors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Anisotropy
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Color
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Male
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / physiology
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / ultrastructure
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neuroanatomy / methods*
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated / methods
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Thalamus / anatomy & histology*
  • Thalamus / physiology