This project is about developing brain atlases that represent multiple topographic features, including discrete boundaries between regions, smooth gradients from one region to another, as well as more complex topographic structures. Current brain atlases invariably indicate only one feature—sharp regional boundaries—but we know that the brain exhibits a much richer set of topographic features. Topographic maps of land surfaces wouldn't be particularly useful if they only indicated one feature (e.g. waterways), but not landforms, vegetation and manmade structures!
Check out our recent research on a new technique called gradientography, which provides a principled approach to distinguish discrete boundaries in brain topography from gradients of continuous spatial variation. The latter are often misrepresented as discrete boundaries, resulting is brain atlases with spurious boundaries and over-parcellation. Further research is needed to investigate the fundamental topographic features that are needed to adequately map the topography of the human brain. This project aims to uncover the basic building blocks of brain topography and map new brain atlases that incorporate multiple topographic features.
Further research and key questions
- Develop brain atlases that represent multiple topographic features, including boundaries, gradients and more complex topographic structures
- What is the minimum set of topographic features that is needed to adequately represent brain topography?
Ye Tian & Andrew Zalesky
- Eickhoff SB, Yeo BTT, Genon S. Imaging-based parcellations of the human brain. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2018 Nov;19(11):672-686.
- Finn ES, Shen X, Scheinost D, Rosenberg MD, Huang J, Chun MM, Papademetris X, Constable RT. Functional connectome fingerprinting: identifying individuals using patterns of brain connectivity. Nat Neurosci. 2015 Nov;18(11):1664-71.
- Glasser MF, Coalson TS, Robinson EC, et al. A multi-modal parcellation of human cerebral cortex. Nature. 2016;536(7615):171-178.
- Tian Y, Margulies DS, Breakspear M, Zalesky A. Topographic organization of the human subcortex unveiled with functional connectivity gradients. Nat Neurosci. 2020 Nov;23(11):1421-1432.
- Tian Y, Zalesky A, Bousman C, Everall I, Pantelis C. Insula Functional Connectivity in Schizophrenia: Subregions, Gradients, and Symptoms. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2019 Apr;4(4):399-408.
- Tian Y, Zalesky A. Characterizing the functional connectivity diversity of the insula cortex: Subregions, diversity curves and behavior. Neuroimage. 2018 Dec;183:716-733.