Three-dimensional tracking of axonal projections in the brain by magnetic resonance imaging



The relationship between brain structure and complex behavior is governed by large-scale neurocognitive networks. The availability of a noninvasive technique that can visualize the neuronal projections connecting the functional centers should therefore provide new keys to the understanding of brain function. By using high-resolution three-dimensional diffusion magnetic resonance imaging and a newly designed tracking approach, we show that neuronal pathways in the rat brain can be probed in situ. The results are validated through comparison with known anatomical locations of such fibers. Ann Neurol 1999;45:265–269