Revealing the Hippocampal Connectome through Super-Resolution 1150-Direction Diffusion MRI

Sci Rep. 2019 Feb 20;9(1):2418. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-37905-9.


The hippocampus is a key component of emotional and memory circuits and is broadly connected throughout the brain. We tracked the whole-brain connections of white matter fibres from the hippocampus using ultra-high angular resolution diffusion MRI in both a single 1150-direction dataset and a large normal cohort (n = 94; 391-directions). Using a connectomic approach, we identified six dominant pathways in terms of strength, length and anatomy, and characterised them by their age and gender variation. The strongest individual connection was to the ipsilateral thalamus. There was a strong age dependence of hippocampal connectivity to medial occipital regions. Overall, our results concur with preclinical and ex-vivo data, confirming that meaningful in vivo characterisation of hippocampal connections is possible in an individual. Our findings extend the collective knowledge of hippocampal anatomy, highlighting the importance of the spinal-limbic pathway and the striking lack of hippocampal connectivity with motor and sensory cortices.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Connectome*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Emotions / physiology
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / diagnostic imaging
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / metabolism
  • Temporal Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Temporal Lobe / metabolism*
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology
  • Thalamus / diagnostic imaging
  • Thalamus / metabolism
  • Thalamus / physiology
  • White Matter / diagnostic imaging
  • White Matter / metabolism
  • White Matter / physiology
  • Young Adult