Advances in functional neuroanatomy: A review of combined DTI and fMRI studies in healthy younger and older adults

Ilana J. Bennett, Bart Rypma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Structural connections between brain regions are thought to influence neural processing within those regions. It follows that alterations to the quality of structural connections should influence the magnitude of neural activity. The quality of structural connections may also be expected to differentially influence activity in directly versus indirectly connected brain regions. To test these predictions, we reviewed studies that combined diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in younger and older adults. By surveying studies that examined relationships between DTI measures of white matter integrity and fMRI measures of neural activity, we identified variables that accounted for variability in these relationships. Results revealed that relationships between white matter integrity and neural activity varied with (1) aging (i.e., positive and negative DTI-fMRI relationships in younger and older adults, respectively) and (2) spatial proximity of the neural measures (i.e., positive and negative DTI-fMRI relationships when neural measures were extracted from adjacent and non-adjacent brain regions, respectively). Together, the studies reviewed here provided support for both of our predictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1201-1210
Number of pages10
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Aging
  • Diffusion tensor imaging, DTI
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI
  • Multimodal imaging
  • Neurocognitive aging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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