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Mean template for tensor-based morphometry using deformation tensors.

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Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Tensor-based morphometry (TBM) studies anatomical differences between brain images statistically, to identify regions that differ between groups, over time, or correlate with cognitive or clinical measures. Using a nonlinear registration algorithm, all images are mapped to a common space, and statistics are most commonly performed on the Jacobian determinant (local expansion factor) of the deformation fields. In, it was shown that the detection sensitivity of the standard TBM approach could be increased by using the full deformation tensors in a multivariate statistical analysis. Here we set out to improve the common space itself, by choosing the shape that minimizes a natural metric on the deformation tensors from that space to the population of control subjects. This method avoids statistical bias and should ease nonlinear registration of new subjects data to a template that is 'closest' to all subjects' anatomies. As deformation tensors are symmetric positive-definite matrices and do not form a vector space, all computations are performed in the log-Euclidean framework. The control brain B that is already the closest to 'average' is found. A gradient descent algorithm is then used to perform the minimization that iteratively deforms this template and obtains the mean shape. We apply our method to map the profile of anatomical differences in a dataset of 26 HIV/AIDS patients and 14 controls, via a log-Euclidean Hotelling's T2 test on the deformation tensors. These results are compared to the ones found using the 'best' control, B. Statistics on both shapes are evaluated using cumulative distribution functions of the p-values in maps of inter-group differences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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