Age of onset of blindness affects brain anatomical networks constructed using diffusion tensor tractography

Li, Jiajia, Liu, Yong, Qin, Wen, Jiang, Jiefeng, Qiu, Zhaoxiong, Xu, Jiacheng, Yu, Chunshui and Jiang, Tianzi (2013) Age of onset of blindness affects brain anatomical networks constructed using diffusion tensor tractography. Cerebral Cortex, 23 3: 542-551.


Author Li, Jiajia
Liu, Yong
Qin, Wen
Jiang, Jiefeng
Qiu, Zhaoxiong
Xu, Jiacheng
Yu, Chunshui
Jiang, Tianzi
Title Age of onset of blindness affects brain anatomical networks constructed using diffusion tensor tractography
Journal name Cerebral Cortex   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1047-3211
1460-2199
Publication date 2013-03
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/cercor/bhs034
Volume 23
Issue 3
Start page 542
End page 551
Total pages 10
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract Studying blindness with various onset ages may elucidate the ways that unimodal sensory deprivation at different periods of development shape the human brain. In order to determine the effect of the onset age on brain anatomical networks, we extended a previous study of 17 early blind (EB) subjects with an additional 97 subjects with various onset ages. We constructed binary anatomical networks of these subjects and sighted controls (SC) using diffusion tensor tractography and calculated the topological properties of the network. Based on onset age, the subjects were divided into congenitally blind (CB), EB, adolescent-blind (AB), and late-blind (LB) subgroups. The LB subjects demonstrated a greater connectivity density and a higher global efficiency, similar to the SC. The CB and EB subgroups showed large group differences from the other groups in their topological networks, specifically, a reduced connectivity density and a decreased global efficiency compared with the SC, especially in the frontal and occipital cortices. Additionally, significant correlations were found between age of onset and the topological properties of the anatomical network in the blind. Our results suggest that visual experience during an early period of development is critical for establishing an intact efficient anatomical network in the human brain.
Keyword Age of onset
Anatomical network
Blindness
Diffusion tensor imaging
Tractography
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes First published online: 27 February 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2013 Collection
Centre for Advanced Imaging Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 22 Nov 2012, 12:10:59 EST by Debra McMurtrie on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute