Imaging-based parcellations of the human brain

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2018 Nov;19(11):672-686. doi: 10.1038/s41583-018-0071-7.


A defining aspect of brain organization is its spatial heterogeneity, which gives rise to multiple topographies at different scales. Brain parcellation - defining distinct partitions in the brain, be they areas or networks that comprise multiple discontinuous but closely interacting regions - is thus fundamental for understanding brain organization and function. The past decade has seen an explosion of in vivo MRI-based approaches to identify and parcellate the brain on the basis of a wealth of different features, ranging from local properties of brain tissue to long-range connectivity patterns, in addition to structural and functional markers. Given the high diversity of these various approaches, assessing the convergence and divergence among these ensuing maps is a challenge. Inter-individual variability adds to this challenge but also provides new opportunities when coupled with cross-species and developmental parcellation studies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Reproducibility of Results