Brain diffusion templates contain rich information about the microstructure of the brain, and are used as references in spatial normalization or in the development of brain atlases. The accuracy of diffusion templates constructed based on the diffusion tensor (DT) model is limited in regions with complex neuronal micro-architecture. High angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) overcomes limitations of the DT model and is capable of resolving intravoxel heterogeneity. However, when HARDI is combined with multiple-shot sequences to minimize image artifacts, the scan time becomes inappropriate for human brain imaging. In this work, an artifact-free HARDI template of the human brain was developed from low angular resolution multiple-shot diffusion data. The resulting HARDI template was produced in ICBM-152 space based on Turboprop diffusion data, was shown to resolve complex neuronal micro-architecture in regions with intravoxel heterogeneity, and contained fiber orientation information consistent with known human brain anatomy.
Keywords: Brain; Fiber orientation distribution; HARDI; High angular resolution diffusion imaging; Template; Turboprop.
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