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Diffusion weighted imaging & tractography: when is a fiber tract not a tract?

Bundles of neural fiber tracts make water diffuse asymmetrically in a tensor, with the major axis parallel to the direction of the fibers, and it is possible to use MR imaging to measure these properties of brain water diffusion noninvasively in humans. There has been significant progress during the past decade both in measuring this diffusion, and in developing tractography algorithms that use these data to identify and quantify human white matter tracts. I'll discuss the general statistical priqnciples that underlie the various algorithms currently in use, and some of the major statistical limitations of current methods.