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Structural connectivity asymmetry in the neonatal brain

Structural connectivity asymmetry in the neonatal brain
Structural connectivity asymmetry in the neonatal brain
Asymmetry of the neonatal brain is not yet understood at the level of structural connectivity. We utilized DTI deterministic tractography and structural network analysis based on graph theory to determine the pattern of structural connectivity asymmetry in 124 normal neonates. We tracted white matter axonal pathways characterizing interregional connections among brain regions and inferred asymmetry in left and right anatomical network properties. Our findings revealed that in neonates, small-world characteristics were exhibited, but did not differ between the two hemispheres, suggesting that neighboring brain regions connect tightly with each other, and that one region is only a few paths away from any other region within each hemisphere. Moreover, the neonatal brain showed greater structural efficiency in the left hemisphere than that in the right. In neonates, brain regions involved in motor, language, and memory functions play crucial roles in efficient communication in the left hemisphere, while brain regions involved in emotional processes play crucial roles in efficient communication in the right hemisphere. These findings suggest that even at birth, the topology of each cerebral hemisphere is organized in an efficient and compact manner that maps onto asymmetric functional specializations seen in adults, implying lateralized brain functions in infancy.
cerebral asymmetry, structural connectivity network, diffusion tensor imaging, neonates, tractography
187-194
Ratnarajah, Nagulan
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Rifkin-Graboi, Anne
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Fortier, Marielle V.
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Chong, Yap Seng
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Kwek, Kenneth
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Saw, Seang-Mei
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Godfrey, Keith M.
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Gluckman, Peter D.
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Meaney, Michael J.
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Qiu, Anqi
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Ratnarajah, Nagulan
8ebe26e3-6155-48d1-acf6-ca0e782a3764
Rifkin-Graboi, Anne
af440bed-c49d-4417-93b3-2243c8a2f1a8
Fortier, Marielle V.
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Chong, Yap Seng
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Kwek, Kenneth
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Saw, Seang-Mei
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Godfrey, Keith M.
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Gluckman, Peter D.
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Meaney, Michael J.
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Qiu, Anqi
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Ratnarajah, Nagulan, Rifkin-Graboi, Anne, Fortier, Marielle V., Chong, Yap Seng, Kwek, Kenneth, Saw, Seang-Mei, Godfrey, Keith M., Gluckman, Peter D., Meaney, Michael J. and Qiu, Anqi (2013) Structural connectivity asymmetry in the neonatal brain. NeuroImage, 75, 187-194. (doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.02.052). (PMID:23501049)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Asymmetry of the neonatal brain is not yet understood at the level of structural connectivity. We utilized DTI deterministic tractography and structural network analysis based on graph theory to determine the pattern of structural connectivity asymmetry in 124 normal neonates. We tracted white matter axonal pathways characterizing interregional connections among brain regions and inferred asymmetry in left and right anatomical network properties. Our findings revealed that in neonates, small-world characteristics were exhibited, but did not differ between the two hemispheres, suggesting that neighboring brain regions connect tightly with each other, and that one region is only a few paths away from any other region within each hemisphere. Moreover, the neonatal brain showed greater structural efficiency in the left hemisphere than that in the right. In neonates, brain regions involved in motor, language, and memory functions play crucial roles in efficient communication in the left hemisphere, while brain regions involved in emotional processes play crucial roles in efficient communication in the right hemisphere. These findings suggest that even at birth, the topology of each cerebral hemisphere is organized in an efficient and compact manner that maps onto asymmetric functional specializations seen in adults, implying lateralized brain functions in infancy.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 14 March 2013
Published date: 15 July 2013
Keywords: cerebral asymmetry, structural connectivity network, diffusion tensor imaging, neonates, tractography
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

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Local EPrints ID: 355761
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/355761
PURE UUID: 15b4cd37-278e-4c2e-bbc6-01651514bcdb
ORCID for Keith M. Godfrey: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4643-0618

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Date deposited: 21 Aug 2013 13:26
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 01:35

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Contributors

Author: Nagulan Ratnarajah
Author: Anne Rifkin-Graboi
Author: Marielle V. Fortier
Author: Yap Seng Chong
Author: Kenneth Kwek
Author: Seang-Mei Saw
Author: Peter D. Gluckman
Author: Michael J. Meaney
Author: Anqi Qiu

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