Development of in vivo high resolution individual based neuroanatomical atlases using magnetic resonance imaging
Walters N., Jenkinson M., Kean M., Watson JD., Egan GF.
© 2002 Nanyang Technological University. The study of individual variation in brain anatomy has been neglected by most researchers in the functional brain imaging field. Almost all results of functional imaging experiments are referenced to standard atlases or "average" anatomical features. We believe that individual variation will inform us of crucial structural, developmental and functional aspects of the human brain, particularly with the rapidly expanding knowledge of the human genome. As a first step towards this we describe a non-invasive method of generating high resolution unique anatomical atlases for each subject in an experimental group using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Essentially, the method enables images of partial brain regions from multiple imaging sessions to be progressively combined into a high resolution neuroanatomical atlas. In this way, a single high resolution brain volume can be built up like "patchwork" from separate partial brain volumes. This will allow precise localisation and correlation of functional results and we believe will be hypothesis-generating in the areas of developmental, neurobiology and clinical neuroscience.