Cortical structure: Linking MRI and cytoarchitecture
MRI provides a powerful tool to investigate brain structure in living humans. However a major challenge is interpreting the biological underpinnings of changes at this scale. This dissertation describes investigations into the problem of linking microscale post mortem cortical cytoarchitecture with millimeter-scale measures of cortical anatomy accessible through in vivo MRI.
Chapter 1 introduces the problem and previous work done to address it. The following two chapters apply classical atlases of cortical cytoarchitecture to understanding morphological changes both in health (Chapter 2) and in disease (Chapter 3). Chapter 2 demonstrates that sensory processing hierarchies exhibit increasing gradients of cortical thickness, related to changes in cortical cytoarchitecture. In Chapter 3, cytoarchitectonically described differences in gyral and sulcal laminar structure were used to create markers of laminar change from MRI changes in schizophrenia.
Classical measurements of histology have limitations; they are observer dependent, two-dimensional with limited coverage of the cortex. To address these issues, Chapters 4-6 document work carried on BigBrain, a 3D 20