XTRACT - Standardised protocols for automated tractography and connectivity blueprints in the human and macaque brain
Warrington S., Bryant KL., Khrapitchev AA., Sallet J., Charquero-Ballester M., Douaud G., Jbabdi S., Mars RB., Sotiropoulos SN.
Abstract We present a new toolbox and library of standardised tractography protocols devised for the robust automated extraction of white matter tracts both in the human and the macaque brain. Using in vivo data from the Human Connectome Project (HCP) and the UK Biobank and ex vivo data for the macaque brain datasets, we obtain white matter atlases, as well as atlases for tract endpoints on the white-grey matter boundary, for both species. We illustrate that our protocols are robust against data quality, generalisable across two species and reflect the known anatomy. We further demonstrate that they capture inter-subject variability by preserving tract lateralisation in humans and tract similarities stemming from twinship in the HCP cohort. Our results demonstrate that the presented toolbox will be useful for generating imaging-derived features in large cohorts, and in facilitating comparative neuroanatomy studies. The software, tractography protocols, and atlases are publicly released through FSL, allowing users to define their own tractography protocols in a standardised manner, further contributing to open science.