The role of diffusion MRI in neuroscience

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Jul 11, 2017
  • Author: Yaniv Assaf, Heidi Johansen‐Berg, Michel Thiebaut de Schotten
  • Journal: NMR in Biomedicine

Diffusion‐weighted imaging has pushed the boundaries of neuroscience by allowing us to examine the white matter microstructure of the living human brain. By doing so, it has provided answers to fundamental neuroscientific questions, launching a new field of research that had been largely inaccessible. We briefly summarize key questions that have historically been raised in neuroscience concerning the brain's white matter. We then expand on the benefits of diffusion‐weighted imaging and its contribution to the fields of brain anatomy, functional models and plasticity. In doing so, this review highlights the invaluable contribution of diffusion‐weighted imaging in neuroscience, presents its limitations and proposes new challenges for future generations who may wish to exploit this powerful technology to gain novel insights.

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