What can we learn from T2* maps of the cortex?

Neuroimage. 2014 Jun:93 Pt 2:189-200. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.01.023. Epub 2013 Jan 26.


Studies have shown that T2* contrast can reveal features of cortical anatomy. However, understanding the relationship between T2* contrast and the underlying cyto- and myelo-architecture is not an easy task, given the number of confounds, such as myelin, iron, blood vessels and structure orientation. Moreover, it is difficult to obtain reliable T2* measurements in the cortex due to its thin and folded geometry and the presence of artifacts. This review addresses issues associated with T2* mapping in the human cortex. After describing the theory behind T2* relaxation, a list of practical steps is proposed to reliably acquire and process T2* data and then map these values within the cortex using surface-based analysis. The last section addresses the question: "What can we gain from T2* cortical mapping?", with particular emphasis on Brodmann mapping.

Keywords: Biomarker; Brodmann; Cortex; Cytoarchitecture; Myeloarchitecture; T(2)*.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*