The occipitofrontal fascicle in humans: a quantitative, in vivo, DT-MRI study

Makris N, Papadimitriou GM, Sorg S, Kennedy DN, Caviness VS, Pandya DN

Neuroimage 2007 Oct;37(4):1100-11

PMID: 17681797


Since the existence of the occipitofrontal fascicle (OFF) in humans has remained controversial, we utilized diffusion tensor imaging (DT-MRI)-based segmentation and tractography to investigate its trajectory in vivo in the human. We found that the OFF is distinct from the subcallosal fasciculus or Muratoff’s bundle (MB) and extends from the dorsal and medial parts of the occipital lobe as well as the dorsal, medial and inferior parietal lobules to the dorsal and medial part of the prefrontal and premotor regions. In most of its course, it remains parallel to the corpus callosum, the caudate nucleus and the lateral ventricle. In the coronal plane, the OFF is discerned in the core of the white matter medial to the corona radiata and the superior longitudinal fascicle II (SLF II) and lateral to MB and the corpus callosum. The volumetric measurements of the stem portion of the OFF indicate that the OFF is smaller than the SLF II and the cingulum bundle. Since DT-MRI allows the visualization of OFF fibers leading to the projection areas but not to the origin or termination of these fibers, this has been extrapolated from the experimental data in non-human primates. The OFF may have a role in visual spatial processing along with SLF II.