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Structural alterations in the macaque frontoparietal white matter network after recovery from prefrontal cortex lesions

By Ramina Adam, David J. Schaeffer, Kevin Johnston, Ravi S Menon, Stefan Everling

Posted 03 May 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.05.02.064840

Unilateral damage to the frontoparietal network typically impairs saccade target selection within the contralesional visual hemifield. Severity of deficits and the degree of recovery have been associated with widespread network dysfunction, yet it is not clear how these behavioural and functional changes relate with the underlying structural white matter pathways. Here, we investigated whether recovery after unilateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) lesions was associated with structural white matter remodeling in the distributed frontoparietal network. Diffusion-weighted MRI was acquired in four macaque monkeys before the lesions and at 2-4 months post-lesion, after recovery of deficits in saccade selection of contralesional targets. Probabilistic tractography was used to reconstruct inter- and intra-hemispheric frontoparietal fiber tracts: bilateral superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) and transcallosal fibers connecting bilateral PFC or bilateral posterior parietal cortex (PPC). After behavioural recovery, tract-specific fractional anisotropy in contralesional SLF and transcallosal PPC increased after small lesions and decreased after larger lesions compared to pre-lesion. These findings indicate that remote fiber tracts may provide optimal compensation after small PFC lesions. However, larger lesions may have induced widespread structural damage and hindered compensatory remodeling in the structural frontoparietal network. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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