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Scientific result | Brain | MRI
By using in vivo MRI, researchers at NeuroSpin (GIN-Bordeaux) have been able to evaluate the myelination of nerve fibers in the auditory cortex, area of the brain involved in the processing of language sounds. They observed an asymmetry of myelination in favor of the left hemisphere, in particular according to language performances. They show the usefulness of neuroimaging markers in the study of structure-function relationships at the cerebral cortex level.
We investigated, in 445 healthy adults whose Heschl's gyrus (HG) gyrification patterns had been previously identified, how an in vivo MRI marker of intracortical myelination of HG and the planum temporale (PT) varied as a function of HG gyrification pattern and, in cases of duplication, of anatomical characteristics of the second HG (H2). By measuring the MRI T1/T2 ratio in regions of interest covering the first HG (H1), H2 in cases of common stem (H2CSD), or complete posterior duplication (H2CPD) and the PT, we showed that H1 had the highest T1/T2 values, while the PT had the lowest. The major impact of duplication was a decrease in both H1 and PT T1/T2 values in cases of left CPD. Concerning H2, the right and left T1/T2 values of right H2CSD were closer to those of H1, and those of left H2CPD were closer to those of PT. After adjusting for verbal skills, rhyming performance was not associated with T1/T2 values in left regions, but it decreased with increasing right PT T1/T2 values. These results reveal the existence of hemispheric differences in H2 myelination and underline the importance of neuroimaging markers of intracortical myelination for investigating brain structure–function relationships.
Tzourio-Mazoyer N, Maingault S, Panzieri J, Pepe A, Crivello F, Mazoyer B (2018) Intracortical Myelination of Heschl's Gyrus and the Planum Temporale Varies With Heschl's Duplication Pattern and Rhyming Performance: An Investigation of 440 Healthy Volunteers. Cereb Cortex.(2018) http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhy088
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