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IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2010 Feb;29(2):322-38. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2009.2027993.

Image-guided intraoperative cortical deformation recovery using game theory: application to neocortical epilepsy surgery.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520 USA.


During neurosurgery, nonrigid brain deformation prevents preoperatively-acquired images from accurately depicting the intraoperative brain. Stereo vision systems can be used to track intraoperative cortical surface deformation and update preoperative brain images in conjunction with a biomechanical model. However, these stereo systems are often plagued with calibration error, which can corrupt the deformation estimation. In order to decouple the effects of camera calibration from the surface deformation estimation, a framework that can solve for disparate and often competing variables is needed. Game theory, which was developed to handle decision making in this type of competitive environment, has been applied to various fields from economics to biology. In this paper, game theory is applied to cortical surface tracking during neocortical epilepsy surgery and used to infer information about the physical processes of brain surface deformation and image acquisition. The method is successfully applied to eight in vivo cases, resulting in an 81% decrease in mean surface displacement error. This includes a case in which some of the initial camera calibration parameters had errors of 70%. Additionally, the advantages of using a game theoretic approach in neocortical epilepsy surgery are clearly demonstrated in its robustness to initial conditions.

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