Video_1_Cytoarchitectonic Maps of the Human Metathalamus in 3D Space.MP4 (10.82 MB)
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Video_1_Cytoarchitectonic Maps of the Human Metathalamus in 3D Space.MP4

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posted on 2022-03-08, 04:32 authored by Kai Kiwitz, Andrea Brandstetter, Christian Schiffer, Sebastian Bludau, Hartmut Mohlberg, Mona Omidyeganeh, Philippe Massicotte, Katrin Amunts

The human metathalamus plays an important role in processing visual and auditory information. Understanding its layers and subdivisions is important to gain insights in its function as a subcortical relay station and involvement in various pathologies. Yet, detailed histological references of the microanatomy in 3D space are still missing. We therefore aim at providing cytoarchitectonic maps of the medial geniculate body (MGB) and its subdivisions in the BigBrain – a high-resolution 3D-reconstructed histological model of the human brain, as well as probabilistic cytoarchitectonic maps of the MGB and lateral geniculate body (LGB). Therefore, histological sections of ten postmortem brains were studied. Three MGB subdivisions (MGBv, MGBd, MGBm) were identified on every 5th BigBrain section, and a deep-learning based tool was applied to map them on every remaining section. The maps were 3D-reconstructed to show the shape and extent of the MGB and its subdivisions with cellular precision. The LGB and MGB were additionally identified in nine other postmortem brains. Probabilistic cytoarchitectonic maps in the MNI “Colin27” and MNI ICBM152 reference spaces were computed which reveal an overall low interindividual variability in topography and extent. The probabilistic maps were included into the Julich-Brain atlas, and are freely available. They can be linked to other 3D data of human brain organization and serve as an anatomical reference for diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic neuroimaging studies of healthy brains and patients. Furthermore, the high-resolution MGB BigBrain maps provide a basis for data integration, brain modeling and simulation to bridge the larger scale involvement of thalamocortical and local subcortical circuits.