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Individual variation in fornix microstructure and macrostructure is related to visual discrimination accuracy for scenes but not faces

Postans, Mark, Hodgetts, Carl J. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0339-2447, Mundy, Matthew E., Jones, Derek K. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4409-8049, Lawrence, Andrew D. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6705-2110 and Graham, Kim S. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1512-7667 2014. Individual variation in fornix microstructure and macrostructure is related to visual discrimination accuracy for scenes but not faces. Journal of Neuroscience 34 (36) , pp. 12121-12126. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0026-14.2014

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Abstract

Transection of the nonhuman primate fornix has been shown to impair learning of configurations of spatial features and object-in-scene memory. Although damage to the human fornix also results in memory impairment, it is not known whether there is a preferential involvement of this white-matter tract in spatial learning, as implied by animal studies. Diffusion-weighted MR images were obtained from healthy participants who had completed versions of a task in which they made rapid same/different discriminations to two categories of highly visually similar stimuli: (1) virtual reality scene pairs; and (2) face pairs. Diffusion-MRI measures of white-matter microstructure [fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD)] and macrostructure (tissue volume fraction, f) were then extracted from the fornix of each participant, which had been reconstructed using a deterministic tractography protocol. Fornix MD and f measures correlated with scene, but not face, discrimination accuracy in both discrimination tasks. A complementary voxelwise analysis using tract-based spatial statistics suggested the crus of the fornix as a focus for this relationship. These findings extend previous reports of spatial learning impairments after fornix transection in nonhuman primates, critically highlighting the fornix as a source of interindividual variation in scene discrimination in humans.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Psychology
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Systems Immunity Research Institute (SIURI)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Additional Information: This article is freely available online through the J Neurosci Author Open Choice option.
Publisher: Society for Neuroscience
ISSN: 1529-2401
Funders: BBRSC, MRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 11 July 2014
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2022 09:01
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/64129

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