Creating connected representations of cortical gray matter for functional MRI visualization.
We describe a system that is being used to segment gray matter from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and to create connected cortical representations for functional MRI visualization (fMRI). The method exploits knowledge of the anatomy of the cortex and incorporates structural constraints into the segmentation. First, the white matter and cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) regions in the MR volume are segmented using a novel techniques of posterior anisotropic diffusion. Then, the user selects the cortical white matter component of interest, and its structure is verified by checking for cavities and handles. After this, a connected representation of the gray matter is created by a constrained growing-out from the white matter boundary. Because the connectivity is computed, the segmentation can be used as input to several methods of visualizing the spatial pattern of cortical activity within gray matter. In our case, the connected representation of gray matter is used to create a flattened representation of the cortex. Then, fMRI measurements are overlaid on the flattened representation, yielding a representation of the volumetric data within a single image. The software is freely available to the research community.
Teo, PC; Sapiro, G; Wandell, BA
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