Sex differences in the human connectome: 4-Tesla high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) tractography in 234 young adult twins

Neda Jahanshad, Iman Aganj, Christophe Lenglet, Anand Joshi, Yan Jin, Marina Barysheva, Katie L. McMahon, Greig I. De Zubicaray, Nicholas G. Martin, Margaret J. Wright, Arthur W. Toga, Guillermo Sapiro, Paul M. Thompson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cortical connectivity is associated with cognitive and behavioral traits that are thought to vary between sexes. Using high-angular resolution diffusion imaging at 4 Tesla, we scanned 234 young adult twins and siblings (mean age: 23.4 2.0 SD years) with 94 diffusion-encoding directions. We applied a novel Hough transform method to extract fiber tracts throughout the entire brain, based on fields of constant solid angle orientation distribution functions (ODFs). Cortical surfaces were generated from each subject's 3D T1-weighted structural MRI scan, and tracts were aligned to the anatomy. Network analysis revealed the proportions of fibers interconnecting 5 key subregions of the frontal cortex, including connections between hemispheres. We found significant sex differences (147 women/87 men) in the proportions of fibers connecting contralateral superior frontal cortices. Interhemispheric connectivity was greater in women, in line with long-standing theories of hemispheric specialization. These findings may be relevant for ongoing studies of the human connectome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2011 8th IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Nano to Macro, ISBI'11
Pages939-943
Number of pages5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2 2011
Event2011 8th IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging: From Nano to Macro, ISBI'11 - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Mar 30 2011Apr 2 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging
ISSN (Print)1945-7928
ISSN (Electronic)1945-8452

Other

Other2011 8th IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging: From Nano to Macro, ISBI'11
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityChicago, IL
Period3/30/114/2/11

Keywords

  • high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI)
  • human connectome
  • inter-hemispheric connectivity
  • network analysis
  • tractography

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