The Clinico-Anatomical Correlation Method

Marco Catani and Michel Thiebaut de Schotten

in Atlas of Human Brain Connections

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199541164
Published online November 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191753268 | DOI:
The Clinico-Anatomical Correlation Method

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The clinico-anatomical correlation method is the circular process that allows brain function to be inferred by studying the correspondence between clinical manifestations and lesion location (Figure 5.1). The validity of this approach depends on: i) the level of sophistication of the methodology used for the patient's clinical characterization (e.g. neuropsychological tests, clinical scales, etc.); ii) the spatial resolution of the anatomical investigations; and iii) the theoretical constructs and hypotheses being tested (e.g. psychological models) (Damasio and Damasio, 1989).

Throughout the last two centuries these three aspects have advanced unevenly, thus impeding clinical neuroscientists from taking full advantage of the correlative method (Figure 5.1). In the 1970s to 1980s, for example, advancements in the methodology for clinical assessment (i.e. wider range of neuropsychological batteries, normative values, use of statistical methods) were not paralleled by the availability of neuropathological investigations (De Renzi, 2001). In the last decade the extraordinary flourishing of techniques for structural and functional imaging promises new ways to further advance our ability to map lesions onto cortical regions and underlying connections (Catani and ffytche, 2010). This chapter looks into the correlative method in detail, mainly from an anatomical angle, and introduces a general framework for clinico-anatomical correlation in contemporary neuroscience (i.e. the hodotopic framework) (Catani and ffytche, 2005).

Chapter.  11918 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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