Diffusion Tensor Fiber Tracking Shows Distinct Corticostriatal Circuits in Humans

Stéphane Lehéricy, Mathieu Ducros, Pierre François Van De Moortele, Chantal Francois, Lionel Thivard, Cyril Poupon, Nick Swindale, Kamil Ugurbil, Dae Shik Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

453 Scopus citations


A landmark of corticostriatal connectivity in nonhuman primates is that cortical connections are organized into a set of discrete circuits. Each circuit is assumed to perform distinct behavioral functions. In animals, most connectivity studies are performed using invasive tracing methods, which are nonapplicable in humans. To test the proposal that corticostriatal connections are organized as multiple circuits in humans, we used diffusion tensor imaging axonal tracking, a new magnetic resonance technique that allows demonstration of fiber tracts in a noninvasive manner. Diffusion tensor imaging-based fiber tracking showed that the posterior (sensorimotor), anterior (associative), and ventral (limbic) compartments of the human striatum have specific connections with the cortex, and particularly the frontal lobes. These results provide the first direct demonstration of distinct corticostriatal connections in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)522-529
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004


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