A combined MR and CT study for precise quantitative analysis of the avian brain
2015 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 5, 16002Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Brain size is widely used as a measure of behavioural complexity and sensory-locomotive capacity in avians but has largely relied upon laborious dissections, endoneurocranial tissue displacement, and physical measurement to derive comparative volumes. As an alternative, we present a new precise calculation method based upon coupled magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and computed tomography (CT). Our approach utilizes a novel interactive Fakir probe cross-referenced with an automated CT protocol to efficiently generate total volumes and surface areas of the brain tissue and endoneurocranial space, as well as the discrete cephalic compartments. We also complemented our procedures by using sodium polytungstate (SPT) as a contrast agent. This greatly enhanced CT applications but did not degrade MR quality and is therefore practical for virtual brain tissue reconstructions employing multiple imaging modalities. To demonstrate our technique, we visualized sex-based brain size differentiation in a sample set of Ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus). This revealed no significant variance in relative volume or surface areas of the primary brain regions. Rather, a trend towards isometric enlargement of the total brain and endoneurocranial space was evidenced in males versus females, thus advocating a non-differential sexually dimorphic pattern of brain size increase amongst these facultatively flying birds.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 5, 16002
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-267664DOI: 10.1038/srep16002ISI: 000363760700001PubMedID: 26515262OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-267664DiVA: diva2:873920
FunderSwedish Research Council