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Cognitive and White-Matter Compartment Models Reveal Selective Relations between Corticospinal Tract Microstructure and Simple Reaction Time

Esin Karahan Orcid Logo, Alison G. Costigan Orcid Logo, Kim S. Graham Orcid Logo, Andrew D. Lawrence Orcid Logo, Jiaxiang Zhang Orcid Logo

The Journal of Neuroscience, Volume: 39, Issue: 30, Pages: 5910 - 5921

Swansea University Author: Jiaxiang Zhang Orcid Logo

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Abstract

The speed of motor reaction to an external stimulus varies substantially between individuals and is slowed in aging. However, the neuroanatomical origins of interindividual variability in reaction time (RT) remain unclear. Here, we combined a cognitive model of RT and a biophysical compartment model...

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Published in: The Journal of Neuroscience
ISSN: 0270-6474 1529-2401
Published: Society for Neuroscience 2019
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa61207
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Abstract: The speed of motor reaction to an external stimulus varies substantially between individuals and is slowed in aging. However, the neuroanatomical origins of interindividual variability in reaction time (RT) remain unclear. Here, we combined a cognitive model of RT and a biophysical compartment model of diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) to characterize the relationship between RT and microstructure of the corticospinal tract (CST) and the optic radiation (OR), the primary motor output and visual input pathways associated with visual-motor responses. We fitted an accumulator model of RT to 46 female human participants' behavioral performance in a simple reaction time task. The non-decision time parameter (Ter) derived from the model was used to account for the latencies of stimulus encoding and action initiation. From multi-shell DWI data, we quantified tissue microstructure of the CST and OR with the neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging (NODDI) model as well as the conventional diffusion tensor imaging model. Using novel skeletonization and segmentation approaches, we showed that DWI-based microstructure metrics varied substantially along CST and OR. The Ter of individual participants was negatively correlated with the NODDI measure of the neurite density in the bilateral superior CST. Further, we found no significant correlation between the microstructural measures and mean RT. Thus, our findings suggest a link between interindividual differences in sensorimotor speed and selective microstructural properties in white-matter tracts.
Keywords: along tract analysis; cognitive model; microstructure; NODDI; non-decision time; simple reaction time
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Funders: This work was supported by a European Research Council starting grant (716321), by the Cardiff University Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute with a PhD studentship to A.G.C., and by a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award (104943/Z/14/Z) to K.S.G. and A.D.L.
Issue: 30
Start Page: 5910
End Page: 5921