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Neuroimage. 2003 Feb;18(2):198-213.

Deformation-based surface morphometry applied to gray matter deformation.

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  • 1Department of Statistics, University of Wisconsin, 1210 West Dayton Street, Madison, WI 53706-1685, USA. mchung@stat.wisc.edu


We present a unified statistical approach to deformation-based morphometry applied to the cortical surface. The cerebral cortex has the topology of a 2D highly convoluted sheet. As the brain develops over time, the cortical surface area, thickness, curvature, and total gray matter volume change. It is highly likely that such age-related surface changes are not uniform. By measuring how such surface metrics change over time, the regions of the most rapid structural changes can be localized. We avoided using surface flattening, which distorts the inherent geometry of the cortex in our analysis and it is only used in visualization. To increase the signal to noise ratio, diffusion smoothing, which generalizes Gaussian kernel smoothing to an arbitrary curved cortical surface, has been developed and applied to surface data. Afterward, statistical inference on the cortical surface will be performed via random fields theory. As an illustration, we demonstrate how this new surface-based morphometry can be applied in localizing the cortical regions of the gray matter tissue growth and loss in the brain images longitudinally collected in the group of children and adolescents.

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