Since I did not post any updates in a long time, I decided to revamp the website at the same time. I also finished my master in between and now moved to the Netherlands for PhD studies. A bunch of stuff also happened, namely my first paper about denoising for diffusion datasets is out (and you can even try it out here).
One other interesting thing that came out is the results from the ISMRM 2015 tracking challenge. Turns out, as expected, there is a lot of variability associated with tracking, even while using cutting edge methods. While this might not be that surprising to people working in the field (well, stuff can always be made better), it is mostly important to understand the current limitations of the approaches and not over-interpret results without prior knowledge about anatomy in the case of connectomics.
Hopefully, this will raise awareness that tractography does provide useful information, but it still is only a man-made representation of the brain, and can be useful to understand how it works. One has to keep in mind that the algorithms producing these results have some inherent limitations themselves though, which are still being worked on. As such, understanding their inner working and knowing what they output can help in interpreting brain networks and other related approaches.
For more information, there is a preprint available detailing the methodology and results of the challenge. Hopefully, the diffusion community will see that as a way to rethink how we use tractograms and what they mean while critically interpreting their results.
fMRI has been recently challenged in a similar fashion regarding the underlying assumptions it does for some class of statistical analysis, so hopefully the conclusions form the challenge will help researchers rethink how they view and analyze results coming from tractography as a whole.