About this Research Topic
It has been more than 20 years since Francis Crick and Edward Jones lamented science’s lack of even a basic understanding of human neuroanatomy. “Clearly what is needed for a modern human brain anatomy is the introduction of some radically new techniques”, they wrote in 1993. And researchers were listening. In fact, some of the technical advances that Crick and Jones were calling for were already underway in the mid 1990s. The first diffusion MRI (dMRI) imaging of the human brain was published nearly a decade earlier, and has since evolved with related analysis methods, including tractography, at describing the human brain white matter (WM) in health and disease at an unprecedented level of anatomical accuracy. Diffusion-weighted tractography has therefore become the most important non-invasive tool for investigating human brain connectivity in vivo, renewing the interest and opening new ways for exploring WM anatomy.
Nowadays, tractography is central to the current large-scale connectome efforts for determining the wiring diagram of the human brain. This renewed attention and the need for validation of these neuroimaging tools has also encouraged a new interest and the improvement of blunt dissections of human WM. The integration of recent diffusion-weighted tractography and blunt dissection data allowed new insights in the white matter connectivity of the human brain that deserves a devoted publication space.
This Research Topic is therefore dedicated to the description and study of the human WM, from its general architecture of intricate texture of fibers to its connectional anatomy demonstrated by in vivo and/or ex vivo techniques. Through this Research Topic, we aim to propose a detailed exploration of the general and particular organization of human WM as emerging from the technical and anatomical evolutions of the last decades. Original studies, review and technical reports aimed to provide an overview of the structural and functional organization of the human brain fibers, to clarify the actual and forthcoming advancements for studying human WM and the application of tools for surgical and clinical use are encouraged.
We welcome submissions on, but not limited to, the following subjects :
- the overall texture of the human WM;
- the course, terminations and reciprocal relationships of the different human white matter pathways and their variability;
- new insights in the functional role subserved by human WM pathways;
- surgical and clinical applications of tractographic imaging;
- Editorials/commentaries regarding perspectives of studying and atlasing the human WM anatomy are also welcome.
Keywords: diffusion imaging, tractography, post-mortem dissection, white matter integrity, connectome
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.