Cortico-subthalamic white matter tract strength predicts interindividual efficacy in stopping a motor response

Birte U. Forstmann, Max C. Keuken, Sara Jahfari, Pierre Louis Bazin, Jane Neumann, Andreas Schäfer, Alfred Anwander, Robert Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


The subthalamic nucleus (STN) is a small but vitally important structure in the basal ganglia. Because of its small volume, and its localization in the basal ganglia, the STN can best be visualized using ultra-high resolution 7 Tesla (T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In the present study, first we individually segmented 7T MRI STN masks to generate atlas probability maps. Secondly, the individually segmented STN masks and the probability maps were used to derive cortico-subthalamic white matter tract strength. Tract strength measures were then taken to test two functional STN hypotheses which account for the efficiency in stopping a motor response: the right inferior fronto-subthalamic (rIFC-STN) hypothesis and the posterior medial frontal cortex-subthalamic (pMFC-STN) hypothesis. Results of two independent experiments show that increased white matter tract strength between the pMFC and STN results in better stopping behaviour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-375
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • 7T magnetic resonance imaging
  • Atlas
  • Diffusion weighted imaging
  • Stop-signal paradigm
  • Subthalamic nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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