The challenge of mapping the human connectome based on diffusion tractography

Klaus H. Maier-Hein, Peter F. Neher, Jean-Christophe Houde, Marc-Alexandre Cote, Eleftherios Garyfallidis, Jidan Zhong, Maxime Chamberland, Fang-Cheng Yeh, Ying-Chia Lin, Qing Ji, Wilburn E. Reddick, John O. Glass, David Qixiang Chen, Yuanjing Feng, Chengfeng Gao, Ye Wu, Jieyan Ma, H. Renjie, Qiang Li, Carl-Fredrik WestinSamuel Deslauriers-Gauthier, J. Omar Ocegueda Gonzalez, Michael Paquette, Samuel St-Jean, Gabriel Girard, Francois Rheault, Jasmeen Sidhu, Chantal M. W. Tax, Fenghua Guo, Hamed Y. Mesri, Szabolcs David, Martijn Froeling, Anneriet M. Heemskerk, Alexander Leemans, Arnaud Bore, Basile Pinsard, Christophe Bedetti, Matthieu Desrosiers, Simona Brambati, Julien Doyon, Alessia Sarica, Roberta Vasta, Antonio Cerasa, Aldo Quattrone, Jason Yeatman, Ali R. Khan, Wes Hodges, Simon Alexander, David Romascano, Muhamed Barakovic, Anna Auria, Oscar Esteban, Alia Lemkaddem, Jean-Philippe Thiran, H. Ertan Cetingul, Benjamin L. Odry, Boris Mailhe, Mariappan S. Nadar, Fabrizio Pizzagalli, Gautam Prasad, Julio E. Villalon-Reina, Justin Galvis, Paul M. Thompson, Francisco De Santiago Requejo, Pedro Luque Laguna, Luis Miguel Lacerda, Rachel Barrett, Flavio Dell'Acqua, Marco Catani, Laurent Petit, Emmanuel Caruyer, Alessandro Daducci, Tim Bjørn Dyrby, Tim Holland-Letz, Claus C. Hilgetag, Bram Stieltjes, Maxime Descoteaux

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Abstract

Tractography based on non-invasive diffusion imaging is central to the study of human brain connectivity. To date, the approach has not been systematically validated in ground truth studies. Based on a simulated human brain data set with ground truth tracts, we organized an open international tractography challenge, which resulted in 96 distinct submissions from 20 research groups. Here, we report the encouraging finding that most state-of-the-art algorithms produce tractograms containing 90% of the ground truth bundles (to at least some extent). However, the same tractograms contain many more invalid than valid bundles, and half of these invalid bundles occur systematically across research groups. Taken together, our results demonstrate and confirm fundamental ambiguities inherent in tract reconstruction based on orientation information alone, which need to be considered when interpreting tractography and connectivity results. Our approach provides a novel framework for estimating reliability of tractography and encourages innovation to address its current limitations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1349
JournalNature Communications
Volume8
Issue number1
Number of pages13
ISSN2041-1723
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2017 The Authors. Open Access: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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