Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

There is much interest in using magnetic resonance diffusion imaging to provide information on anatomical connectivity in the brain by measuring the diffusion of water in white matter tracts. Among the measures, the most commonly derived from diffusion data is fractional anisotropy (FA), which quantifies local tract directionality and integrity. Many multi-subject imaging studies are using FA images to localize brain changes related to development, degeneration and disease. In a recent paper, we presented a new approach, tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS), which aims to solve crucial issues of cross-subject data alignment, allowing localized cross-subject statistical analysis. This works by transforming the data from the centers of the tracts that are consistent across a study's subjects into a common space. In this protocol, we describe the MRI data acquisition and analysis protocols required for TBSS studies of localized change in brain connectivity across multiple subjects.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Protoc

Publication Date





499 - 503


Brain, Data Interpretation, Statistical, Diffusion, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Models, Neurological, Water