A method of basal forebrain anatomical standardization for functional image analysis

Monte S. Buchsbaum, James H. Fallon, Tse Chung Wei, Steven Guich, Jacqueline Spiegel-Cohen, Matthew Hamilton, Cheuk Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Functional as well as structural assessment of the basal forebrain has mostly focused on the dorsal caudate and putamen in axial slices where they are easily outlined or their centers located with stereotaxic methods. The more ventral extent of the basal forebrain, where the irregular form and indistinct boundaries of the nucleus accumbens and substantia innominata are difficult to trace and where the brain's ventral surface may contribute partial volume artifacts to measurement, has been less studied. We present a method based on coronal sections, landmarks placed on clearly visible anchor points, and the computational technique of thin-plate spline warping which allows the alignment of groups of individuals to common coordinates for pixel-by-pixel statistical mapping. The reliability of the landmarks across independent raters yields a median absolute difference of 1.3-1.6 mm. The validity of the method is confirmed by variance maps which reveal significant decreases in variance over spindle and bounding box alignment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-125
Number of pages13
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 14 Dec 1998


  • Caudate
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Pallidum
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Putamen
  • Striatum
  • Substantia innominata


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