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White Matter Fiber Tract Clustering

Lauren O'Donnell & Carl-Fredrik Westin


Diffusion MRI measures water diffusion in tissue. Where many cells have similar orientations, such as in muscle or nervous tissue, the diffusion is affected by that local cellular pattern. In the brain, higher diffusion is measured along fiber tracts, bundles of white matter that connect functional regions.


We create paths through diffusion tensor MRI data using tractography (a method that follows the principal direction of diffusion). Then we apply spectral clustering methods [1] to produce an automatic segmentation of the white matter such as the result shown here. We are currently investigating extensions and applications of this method.

fiber tract clustering in the brain

[1] Anders Brun and Hans Knutsson and Hae-Jeong Park and Martha E. Shenton and Carl-Fredrik Westin. Clustering Fiber Traces Using Normalized Cuts. In Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention, pp. 368--375, 2004.

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