Depicting the anatomy of the gyral white matter: ubi sumus? quo vadimus?

Guillaume Dannhoff, Phanindra P. Poudel, Chacchu Bhattarai, Sneha Guruprasad Kalthur, Igor L. Maldonado

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


A cerebral gyrus is made up of an external layer of folded cortex and an inner core of white matter. The architecture of the core has specific features that make it distinct from the white matter of the deep brain regions. Limited externally by the grey matter that covers the top of the gyrus and the neighbouring sulci, this gyral white matter is made up of a mix of fibre populations with multiple directions and destinations. The presence of densely packed fibres with multiple crossings, the proximity to the cortex and the existence of inter-regional and inter-individual variations make the task of depicting this microanatomy extremely challenging. The topic is, however, of paramount relevance for both fundamental and applied neurosciences. This fibre colocalization is crucial for the functional role of each cerebral region and is key to clinical manifestations in cases of parenchymal damage. As track tracing, imaging and dissection are based on different biological or physical principles, it is natural for their results to sometimes be different, but they are often complementary. As the amount of available information increases, it becomes fragmented due to the multiplicity of methods, target phenomena and studied species. In this scoping review, we present the key concepts and map the primary sources of evidence regarding identifying the fibre pathways that compose the gyral white matter, enabling the discussion of avenues for future research. The general pattern in which these pathways are distributed in the gyral white matter was detailed, and the main variations as a function of brain topography were explained and illustrated with typical examples.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfcad265
JournalBrain Communications
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


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