Mapping temporo-parietal and temporo-occipital cortico-cortical connections of the human middle longitudinal fascicle in subject-specific, probabilistic, and stereotaxic Talairach spaces

Makris N, Zhu A, Papadimitriou GM, Mouradian P, Ng I, Scaccianoce E, Baselli G, Baglio F, Shenton ME, Rathi Y, Dickerson B, Yeterian E, Kubicki M

Brain Imaging Behav 2017 Oct;11(5):1258-1277

PMID: 27714552


Originally, the middle longitudinal fascicle (MdLF) was defined as a long association fiber tract connecting the superior temporal gyrus and temporal pole with the angular gyrus. More recently its description has been expanded to include all long postrolandic cortico-cortical association connections of the superior temporal gyrus and dorsal temporal pole with the parietal and occipital lobes. Despite its location and size, which makes MdLF one of the most prominent cerebral association fiber tracts, its discovery in humans is recent. Given the absence of a gold standard in humans for this fiber tract, its precise and complete connectivity remains to be determined with certainty. In this study using high angular resolution diffusion MRI (HARDI), we delineated for the first time, six major fiber connections of the human MdLF, four of which are temporo-parietal and two temporo-occipital, by examining morphology, topography, cortical connections, biophysical measures, volume and length in seventy brains. Considering the cortical affiliations of the different connections of MdLF we suggested that this fiber tract may be related to language, attention and integrative higher level visual and auditory processing associated functions. Furthermore, given the extensive connectivity provided to superior temporal gyrus and temporal pole with the parietal and occipital lobes, MdLF may be involved in several neurological and psychiatric conditions such as primary progressive aphasia and other aphasic syndromes, some forms of behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia, atypical forms of Alzheimer’s disease, corticobasal degeneration, schizophrenia as well as attention-deficit/hyperactivity Disorder and neglect disorders.