Integrated structural and functional atlases of Asian children from infancy to childhood.

TitleIntegrated structural and functional atlases of Asian children from infancy to childhood.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsZhu J, Zhang H, Chong Y-S, Shek LP, Gluckman PD, Meaney MJ, Fortier MV, Qiu A
Date Published2021 Dec 15

The developing brain grows exponentially in the first few years of life. There is a need to have age-appropriate brain atlases that coherently characterize the geometry of the cerebral cortex, white matter tracts, and functional organization. This study employed multi-modal brain images of an Asian cohort and constructed brain structural and functional atlases for 6-month-old infants, 4.5-, 6-, and 7.5-year-old children. We exploited large deformation diffeomorphic metric mapping and probabilistic atlas generation approaches to integrate structural MRI and diffusion weighted images (DWIs) and to create the atlas where white matter tracts well fit into the cortical folding pattern. Based on this structural atlas, we then employed spectral clustering to parcellate the brain into functional networks from resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI). Our results provided the atlas that characterizes the cortical folding geometry, subcortical regions, deep white matter tracts, as well as functional networks in a stereotaxic coordinate space for the four different age groups. The functional networks consisting of the primary cortex were well established in infancy and remained stable to childhood, while specific higher-order functional networks showed specific patterns of hemispherical, subcortical-cerebellar, and cortical-cortical integration and segregation from infancy to childhood. Our multi-modal fusion analysis demonstrated the use of the integrated structural and functional atlas for understanding coherent patterns of brain anatomical and functional development during childhood. Hence, our atlases can be potentially used to study coherent patterns of brain anatomical and functional development.

Alternate JournalNeuroimage
PubMed ID34767941