Topographic separation of fornical fibers associated with the anterior and posterior hippocampus in the human brain: An MRI-diffusion study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Kat Christiansen
  • Claudia Metzler-Baddeley
  • Greg D. Parker
  • Derek K. Jones
  • John P. Aggleton
  • Seralynne D. Vann


Background and Objective: Evidence from rat and nonhuman primate studies indicates that axons comprising the fornix have a characteristic topographical organization: projections from the temporal/anterior hippocampus mainly occupy the lateral fornix, whereas the more medial fornix contains fibers from the septal/posterior hippocampus. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the same topographical organization exists in the human brain. Methods: Using high angular resolution diffusion MRI-based tractography at 3T, subdivisions of the fornix were reconstructed in 40 healthy adults by selecting fiber pathways from either the anterior or the posterior hippocampus. Results: The tract reconstructions revealed that anterior hippocampal fibers predominantly comprise the lateral body of the fornix, whereas posterior fibers make up the medial body of the fornix. Quantitative analyses support this medial:lateral distinction in humans, which matches the topographical organization of the fornix in other primates. Conclusion: This novel tractography protocol enables the separation of fornix fibers from anterior and posterior hippocampal regions in the human brain and, hence, provides a means by which to compare functions associated with different sets of connections along the longitudinal axis of the hippocampus.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00604
JournalBrain and Behavior
Issue number1
Early online date22 Nov 2016
StatePublished - 13 Jan 2017