A direct visuosensory cortical connectivity of the human limbic system. Dissecting the trajectory of the parieto-occipito-hypothalamic tract in the human brain using diffusion weighted tractography

Arash Kamali, Farzaneh Ghazi Sherbaf, Farzaneh Rahmani, Mahsa Khayat-khoei, Azin Aein, Anusha Gandhi, Ekta G. Shah, Haris I. Sair, Roy F. Riascos, Yoshua Esquenazi, Jay Jiguang Zhu, Zafer Keser, Khader M. Hasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The human hypothalamus is at the center of the human limbic system anatomically and physiologically. The hypothalamus plays pivotal roles in controlling autonomic responses and instinctive behaviors such as regulating fear, aggression, learning, feeding behavior, circadian rhythm, and reproductive activities. The detailed anatomy of the pathways responsible for mediating these responses, however, is yet to be determined. The inhibitory effect of the cerebral cortex on the hypothalamus in many autonomic responses, suggests the presence of direct connection between the cortex and hypothalamic nuclei. While, there is ample information to support the cortico-hypothalamic association between the prefrontal cortex and hypothalamic nuclei, the information regarding a direct posterior cortico-hypothalamic alliance is scant. The visuosensory information may be crucial for the limbic system to regulate some of the important limbic functions. Multiple dissection animal studies revealed direct posterior cortical connectivity with the hypothalamic nuclei. However, a direct cortico-hypothalamic connectivity from the parieto-occipital cortices has not been revealed in the human brain yet. Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) may be helpful in better visualizing the anatomy of this direct posterior cortico-limbic connectivity noninvasively in the human brain. We studied 30 healthy human subjects. Using a high-spatial and high angular resolution diffusion weighted tractography technique, for the first time, we were able to delineate and reconstruct the trajectory of the parieto-occipito-hypothalamic tract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number134955
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume728
DOIs
StatePublished - May 29 2020

Keywords

  • Cortico-hypothalamic
  • diffusion weighted imaging
  • hypothalamus
  • limbic
  • parietal
  • sensory
  • tractography
  • visual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A direct visuosensory cortical connectivity of the human limbic system. Dissecting the trajectory of the parieto-occipito-hypothalamic tract in the human brain using diffusion weighted tractography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this