Date(s) - 09/05/2013
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
The neuroimaging technique 3D-polarized light imaging (3D-PLI) has opened up new avenues to study the complex nerve fiber architecture of the human brain at sub-millimeter spatial resolution. This polarimetry technique is applicable to histological sections of postmortem brains utilizing the birefringence of nerve fibers caused by the regular arrangement of lipids and proteins in the myelin sheaths surrounding axons. 3D-PLI provides a three-dimensional description of the anatomical wiring scheme defined by the in-section direction angle and the out-of-section inclination angle. To date, 3D-PLI is the only available method that allows bridging the microscopic and the macroscopic description of the fiber architecture of the human brain. Here we introduce a new approach to retrieve the inclination angle of the fibers independently of the properties of the used polarimeters. This is relevant because the image resolution and the signal transmission influence the measured birefringent signal (retardation) significantly. The image resolution was determined using the USAF-1951 testchart applying the Rayleigh criterion. The signal transmission was measured by elliptical polarizers applying the Michelson contrast and histological slices of the optic tract of a postmortem brain. Based on these results, a modified retardation-inclination transfer function was proposed to extract the fiber inclination enabling the extraction of the fiber orientation consistently for the used polarimetric setup enabling a multiscale approach to investigate the human connectome.