Surface-constrained volumetric brain registration using harmonic mappings

Anand A. Joshi, David W. Shattuck, Paul M. Thompson, Richard M. Leahy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


In order to compare anatomical and functional brain imaging data across subjects, the images must first be registered to a common coordinate system in which anatomical features are aligned. Intensity-based volume registration methods can align subcortical structures well, but the variability in sulcai folding patterns typically results in misalignment of the cortical surface. Conversely, surface-based registration using sulcai features can produce excellent cortical alignment but the mapping between brains is restricted to the cortical surface. Here we describe a method for volumetric registration that also produces an accurate one-to-one point correspondence between cortical surfaces. This is achieved by first parameterizing and aligning the cortical surfaces using sulcai landmarks. We then use a constrained harmonic mapping to extend this surface correspondence to the entire cortical volume. Finally, this mapping is refined using an intensity-based warp. We demonstrate the utility of the method by applying it to T1-weighted magnetic resonance images (MRI). We evaluate the performance of our proposed method relative to existing methods that use only intensity information; for this comparison we compute the intersubject alignment of expert-labeled sub-cortical structures after registration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1657-1668
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain mapping
  • Deformable registration
  • Harmonic mapping
  • Image registration


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