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Neuroimage. 2013 May 1;71:233-47. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.01.022. Epub 2013 Jan 24.

Linear transforms for Fourier data on the sphere: application to high angular resolution diffusion MRI of the brain.

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Signal and Image Processing Institute, Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2564, USA.


This paper presents a novel family of linear transforms that can be applied to data collected from the surface of a 2-sphere in three-dimensional Fourier space. This family of transforms generalizes the previously-proposed Funk-Radon Transform (FRT), which was originally developed for estimating the orientations of white matter fibers in the central nervous system from diffusion magnetic resonance imaging data. The new family of transforms is characterized theoretically, and efficient numerical implementations of the transforms are presented for the case when the measured data is represented in a basis of spherical harmonics. After these general discussions, attention is focused on a particular new transform from this family that we name the Funk-Radon and Cosine Transform (FRACT). Based on theoretical arguments, it is expected that FRACT-based analysis should yield significantly better orientation information (e.g., improved accuracy and higher angular resolution) than FRT-based analysis, while maintaining the strong characterizability and computational efficiency of the FRT. Simulations are used to confirm these theoretical characteristics, and the practical significance of the proposed approach is illustrated with real diffusion weighted MRI brain data. These experiments demonstrate that, in addition to having strong theoretical characteristics, the proposed approach can outperform existing state-of-the-art orientation estimation methods with respect to measures such as angular resolution and robustness to noise and modeling errors.

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