Occipital-callosal pathways in children validation and atlas development

Robert F. Dougherty, Michal Ben-Shachar, Gayle Deutsch, Polina Potanina, Roland Bammer, Brian A. Wandell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Diffusion tensor imaging and fiber tracking were used to measure fiber bundles connecting the two occipital lobes in 53 children of 7-12 years of age. Independent fiber bundle estimates originating from the two hemispheres converge onto the lower half of the splenium. This observation validates the basic methodology and suggests that most occipital-callosal fibers connect the two occipital lobes. Within the splenium, fiber bundles are organized in a regular pattern with respect to their cortical projection zones. Visual cortex dorsal to calcarine projects through a large band that fills much of the inferior half of the splenium, while cortex ventral to calcarine sends projections through a band at the anterior inferior edge of the splenium. Pathways projecting to the occipital pole and lateral-occipital regions overlap the dorsal and ventral groups slightly anterior to the center of the splenium. To visualize these pathways in a typical brain, we combined the data into an atlas. The estimated occipital-callosal fiber paths from the atlas form the walls of the occipital horn of the lateral ventricle, with dorsal paths forming the medial wall and the ventral paths bifurcating into a medial tract to form the inferior-medial wall and a superior tract that joins the lateral-occipital paths to form the superior wall of the ventricle. The properties of these fiber bundles match those of the hypothetical pathways described in the neurological literature on alexia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-112
Number of pages15
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Eye InstituteR01EY015000


    • Alexia
    • Diffusion tensor imaging
    • Fiber tracking
    • Splenium
    • White matter atlas


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