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Microstructural development: Organizational differences of the fiber architecture between children and adults in dorsal and ventral visual streams


Loenneker, T; Klaver, P; Bucher, K; Lichtensteiger, J; Imfeld, A; Martin, E (2011). Microstructural development: Organizational differences of the fiber architecture between children and adults in dorsal and ventral visual streams. Human Brain Mapping, 32(6):935-946.

Abstract

Visual perceptual skills are basically mature by the age of 7 years. White matter, however, continues to develop until late adolescence. Here, we examined children (aged 5-7 years) and adults (aged 20-30 years) using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fiber tracking to investigate the microstructural maturation of the visual system. We characterized the brain volumes, DTI indices, and architecture of visual fiber tracts passing through white matter structures adjacent to occipital and parietal cortex (dorsal stream), and to occipital and temporal cortex (ventral stream). Dorsal, but not ventral visual stream pathways were found to increase in volume during maturation. DTI indices revealed expected maturational differences, manifested as decreased mean and radial diffusivities and increased fractional anisotropy in both streams. Additionally, fractional anisotropy was increased and radial diffusivity was decreased in the adult dorsal stream, which can be explained by specific dorsal stream myelination or increasing fiber compaction. Adult dorsal stream architecture showed additional intra- and interhemispheric connections: Dorsal fibers penetrated into contralateral hemispheres via commissural structures and projection fibers extended to the superior temporal gyrus and ventral association pathways. Moreover, intra-hemispheric connectivity was particularly strong in adult dorsal stream of the right hemisphere. Ventral stream architecture also differed between adults and children. Adults revealed additional connections to posterior lateral areas (occipital-temporal gyrus), whereas children showed connections to posterior medial areas (posterior parahippocampal and lingual gyrus). Hence, in addition to dorsal stream myelination or fiber compaction, progressing maturation of intra- and interhemispheric connectivity may contribute to the development of the visual system

Abstract

Visual perceptual skills are basically mature by the age of 7 years. White matter, however, continues to develop until late adolescence. Here, we examined children (aged 5-7 years) and adults (aged 20-30 years) using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fiber tracking to investigate the microstructural maturation of the visual system. We characterized the brain volumes, DTI indices, and architecture of visual fiber tracts passing through white matter structures adjacent to occipital and parietal cortex (dorsal stream), and to occipital and temporal cortex (ventral stream). Dorsal, but not ventral visual stream pathways were found to increase in volume during maturation. DTI indices revealed expected maturational differences, manifested as decreased mean and radial diffusivities and increased fractional anisotropy in both streams. Additionally, fractional anisotropy was increased and radial diffusivity was decreased in the adult dorsal stream, which can be explained by specific dorsal stream myelination or increasing fiber compaction. Adult dorsal stream architecture showed additional intra- and interhemispheric connections: Dorsal fibers penetrated into contralateral hemispheres via commissural structures and projection fibers extended to the superior temporal gyrus and ventral association pathways. Moreover, intra-hemispheric connectivity was particularly strong in adult dorsal stream of the right hemisphere. Ventral stream architecture also differed between adults and children. Adults revealed additional connections to posterior lateral areas (occipital-temporal gyrus), whereas children showed connections to posterior medial areas (posterior parahippocampal and lingual gyrus). Hence, in addition to dorsal stream myelination or fiber compaction, progressing maturation of intra- and interhemispheric connectivity may contribute to the development of the visual system

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 University Research Priority Programs > Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
150 Psychology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:19 Jun 2010 12:37
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 02:44
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1065-9471
Funders:The Swiss National Foundation; Grant Number: B0-109983, Jubilee Donation of the University of Zurich (Switzerland), University Research Priority Program "Integrative Human Physiology"
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.21080
PubMed ID:20533564

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