Cortico-subthalamic white matter tract strength predicts interindividual efficacy in stopping a motor response

Neuroimage. 2012 Mar;60(1):370-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.12.044. Epub 2011 Dec 28.


The subthalamic nucleus (STN) is a small but vitally important structure in the basal ganglia. Because of its small volume, and its localization in the basal ganglia, the STN can best be visualized using ultra-high resolution 7 Tesla (T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In the present study, first we individually segmented 7 T MRI STN masks to generate atlas probability maps. Secondly, the individually segmented STN masks and the probability maps were used to derive cortico-subthalamic white matter tract strength. Tract strength measures were then taken to test two functional STN hypotheses which account for the efficiency in stopping a motor response: the right inferior fronto-subthalamic (rIFC-STN) hypothesis and the posterior medial frontal cortex-subthalamic (pMFC-STN) hypothesis. Results of two independent experiments show that increased white matter tract strength between the pMFC and STN results in better stopping behaviour.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reaction Time
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / physiology*
  • Young Adult