In vivo identification of human cortical areas using high-resolution MRI: An approach to cerebral structure-function correlation

Nathan B. Walters, Gary F. Egan, Jillian J. Kril, Michael Kean, Patricia Waley, Mark Jenkinson, John D.G. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

125 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding the relationship between the structural and functional organization of the human brain is one of the most important goals of neuroscience. Individual variability in brain structure means that it is essential to obtain this information from the same subject. To date, this has been almost impossible. Even though noninvasive functional imaging techniques such as functional MRI (fMRI) are now commonplace, there is no complementary noninvasive structural technique. We present an in vivo method of examining the detailed neuroanatomy of any individual, which can then be correlated with that individual's own functional results. This method utilizes high-resolution structural MRI to identify distinct cortical regions based on cortical lamination structure. We demonstrate that the observed MR lamination patterns relate to myeloarchitecture through a correlation of histology with MRI. In vivo high-resolution MRI studies identify striate cortex, as well as visual area V5, in four individuals, as defined by using fMRI. The anatomical identification of a cortical area (V5/MT) outside of striate cortex is a significant advance, proving it possible to identify extra-striate cortical areas and demonstrating that in vivo structural mapping of the human cerebral cortex is possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2981-2986
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes

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