tckmap options

I am using tckmap for my analysis. I couldn’t find the meaning/difference between the options ‘scalar_map’ and ‘scalar_map_count’. Please suggest if there is any documentation that explains these options.

-contrast type define the desired form of contrast for the output image
Options are: tdi, length, invlength, scalar_map, scalar_map_count, fod_amp, curvature, vector_file (default: tdi)

Welcome Tonima!

Yes that difference is not very well communicated. The latter is only really in place to permit masking when performing the TW-FC method. Basically:

  • scalar_map” samples values from an associated image and (in conjunction with the track-wise statistic) provides each streamline with a scalar value reflecting the image values underlying the streamline trajectory;

  • scalar_map_count” instead assigns to each streamline either a 1 or a 0 depending on whether or not a non-zero value is measured from that image anywhere along the streamline, and can therefore be used to generate an image reflecting the “count” of streamlines that actually contribute to an image generated using the former.

However I’ve never been happy with this interface in the slightest. In retrospect the latter should have instead been achieved as a track-wise statistic within the TWI framework. Longer-term I’m intending on changing the relevant parts of the tckmap interface more drastically; but hopefully that at least explains the options that are there now.


1 Like

Hi Rob, thanks for the explanation. I am back with another question now :slight_smile:

For the -fwhm_tck option for tckmap, how are the voxels handled that correspond to the end of tracks? I am interested about the tckmap generated contrast (using scalar images) where the fibre tracks end at the WM-GM interface. Does this option consider the voxel at the centre of the smoothing kernel? What would teh operation be if that is at the end of track?

Many thanks,

For the -fwhm_tck option for tckmap, how are the voxels handled that correspond to the end of tracks?

Firstly, to be clear, the operation underlying the -fwhm_tck option does not operate on voxels; it operates on the streamline itself. Whatever quantitative value is derived per vertex is smoothed based on the distances between vertices; it is only once each vertex is then mapped to a voxel that this smoothed value “comes along for the ride” in order to contribute appropriately to the final image.

So following this, at the streamline endpoints (not the voxels they are assigned to), the smoothing kernel that is centred at that vertex simply has half of the kernel truncated, so looks like a half-normal distribution, The resulting values are still smooth rather than decreasing in magnitude toward the streamline ends, because the integral of the applied kernel is used to normalise the resulting value at each vertex code.

Hope that answers your question; there’s bits in there that don’t quite make sense to me, so if there’s something out standing you might need to try to rephrase.

Hi Rob,
Thanks for your reply.

Many thanks for your answer, that’s what I was assuming.

I have one more question on this. When using the “ends_only” option for tckmap,

  • does it do the trackmapping for the full length of track and projects the values only at the endpoints of tract or
  • does it only show the values at the end points from the contrast provided and do no do any track mapping?

Many thanks,