Structural connectivity of the human massa intermedia: A probabilistic tractography study

Hum Brain Mapp. 2021 Apr 15;42(6):1794-1804. doi: 10.1002/hbm.25329. Epub 2021 Jan 20.


The role of massa intermedia (MI) is poorly understood in humans. Recent studies suggest its presence may play a role in normal human neurocognitive function while prior studies have shown the absence of MI correlated with psychiatric disorders. There is growing evidence that MI is likely a midline white matter conduit, responsible for interhemispheric connectivity, similar to other midline commissures. MI presence was identified in an unrelated sample using the Human Connectome Project database. MI structural connectivity maps were created and gray matter target regions were identified using probabilistic tractography of the whole brain. Probabilistic tractography revealed an extensive network of connections between MI and limbic, frontal and temporal lobes as well as insula and pericalcarine cortices. Women compared to men had stronger connectivity via their MI. The presented results support the role of MI as a midline commissure with strong connectivity to the amygdala, hippocampus, and entorhinal cortex.

Keywords: Human Connectome Project; interthalamic adhesion; massa intermedia; probabilistic Tractography; structural connectivity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebral Cortex* / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex* / diagnostic imaging
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging*
  • Gray Matter* / anatomy & histology
  • Gray Matter* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / diagnostic imaging*
  • Nerve Net / pathology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Thalamus* / anatomy & histology
  • Thalamus* / diagnostic imaging
  • Young Adult