Regional variation, hemispheric asymmetries and gender differences in pericortical white matter

Xiaojian Kang, Timothy J. Herron, David L Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Brain white matter tissue composition can be quantified using Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and Magnetization Transfer Imaging (MTI). Fractional Anisotropy (FA), derived from DTI, indexes the integrity, density and organization of axons. Magnetization Transfer Ratio (MTR), derived from MTI, indexes to the presence of cell membranes and myelin. The combined use of FA and MTR provides a more complete picture of white matter structure than either imaging modality in isolation. Here we describe the regional distribution of FA and MTR measurements of pericortical white matter in 56 young, healthy right-handed subjects. Significant regional and lobar differences are seen for both measures along with a significant gender difference in FA. Highly consistent hemispheric asymmetries in FA and MTR were observed, suggesting that the greater fiber coherence and increased myelination of fibers in left hemisphere perisylvian regions may provide a structural basis for left-hemisphere language dominance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2011-2023
Number of pages13
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 15 2011


  • DTI
  • FA
  • MTI
  • MTR
  • Myelination
  • Pericortical white matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology


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