CiNet Monthly Seminar
November 30, 2018
16:00 ~ 17:00
CiNet 1F Conference Room
“Multimodal and Multiscale Mapping of Cortical Organization”
Understanding of the anatomical organization of the cerebral cortex requires multimodal and multiscale approaches and the visualization of the different data in a common reference space or brain [1,2,10]. To reach this goal, we develop methods for the analysis of basic aspects of the cortex which enable multiscale imaging from the micron- to the entire brain-dimension, and multimodal imaging by integrating quantitative, observer-independent cytoarchitecture [1,4,7,11], multi-receptor analysis [6,7], and connectivity analysis .
1. Quantitative, observer-independent cytoarchitectonic analysis
The cerebral cortex is not homogeneous, but can be subdivided into areas with distinct characteristics in cell distribution and composition of the layers . These cytoarchitectonic features provide the microstructural basis for a reliably parcellation of the cortex , and – beyond macroanatomical landmarks  – for a profound understanding of neuroimaging data.
Examples illustrating the method, the detection of the degree of interindividual variability (probability maps), and novel maps of the human and monkey cortex will be shown.
2. Multi-receptor fingerprints and their impact on functional networks
Resting-state analyses have become increasingly popular in recent years, providing exciting new insight into the functional network organization of the brain. Functional networks need to have a molecular underpinning, which can be found in the endowment of brain areas with neurotransmitter receptors, i.e. key molecules of signal processing. Their distinct regional and laminar distribution patterns provide the basis for the functional properties of different brain areas [6,7,8,13]. This not only applies to individual areas, but also to brain networks. Assessing the organization of receptor distribution patterns mutually complements the cyto- and fiber architecture on a functional level.
Examples of the regional and laminar distribution of 15 different receptor types in entire brains, particularly in the visual, somatosensory and limbic structures of human [5,6,8,13], monkey  and rat  brains will be shown. The application of receptor fingerprints will be demonstrated, which enable a characterization of the molecular organization of cortical areas [6,8] and layers . Finally, the impact of fingerprints on the identification of functional networks will be demonstrated.
3. Connectivity: The anatomical ground-truth
The birefringence of neuronal tissue, particularly of myelinated fibers enables the visualization of single nerve fibers and entire fiber tracts in post mortem brains using the technique of Polarized Light Imaging (PLI). The spatial orientation of fibres can be revealed at an in-plane resolution of 1.3 micrometer. We have used this technique in human, monkey, rat and mouse brains to demonstrate the course of fibre tracts in the white matter [3,9] and the myeloarchitecture of the cerebral cortex .
Examples of the spatial orientation of fibres will be demonstrated in serial sections through the visual cortex and the hippocampus . PLI can also serve as an independent method for validation of data based on diffusion weighted imaging. In conclusion, PLI provides an unprecedented spatial resolution of the anatomical ground truth of fibre tracts and reveals a hitherto unknown complexity of structural connectivity.
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