, Volume 218, Issue 4, pp 951-968

Human middle longitudinal fascicle: variations in patterns of anatomical connections

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Abstract

Based on high-resolution diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DTI) tractographic analyses in 39 healthy adult subjects, we derived patterns of connections and measures of volume and biophysical parameters, such as fractional anisotropy (FA) for the human middle longitudinal fascicle (MdLF). Compared to previous studies, we found that the cortical connections of the MdLF in humans appear to go beyond the superior temporal (STG) and angular (AG) gyri, extending to the temporal pole (TP), superior parietal lobule (SPL), supramarginal gyrus, precuneus and the occipital lobe (including the cuneus and lateral occipital areas). Importantly, the MdLF showed a striking lateralized pattern with predominant connections between the TP, STG and AG on the left and TP, STG and SPL on the right hemisphere. In light of the results of the present study, and of the known functional role of the cortical areas interconnected by the MdLF, we suggested that this fiber pathway might be related to language, high order auditory association, visuospatial and attention functions.