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A combined MR and CT study for precise quantitative analysis of the avian brain
Inst Clin & Expt Med, Dept Diagnost & Intervent Radiol, MR Unit, Prague 14021, Czech Republic.;Charles Univ Prague, Med Fac 1, Inst Biophys & Informat, Prague, Czech Republic..
Acad Sci Czech Republic, Inst Physiol, Dept Biomath, CR-14220 Prague, Czech Republic..
Uppsala University, Music and Museums, Museum of Evolution. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
2015 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 5, 16002Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-267664DOI: 10.1038/srep16002ISI: 000363760700001PubMedID: 26515262OAI: diva2:873920
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2015-11-25 Created: 2015-11-25 Last updated: 2015-11-25Bibliographically approved

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