The goal of regional spatial normalization is to remove anatomical differences between individual three-dimensional brain images by warping them to match features of a single target brain. Current target brains are either an average, suitable for low-resolution brain mapping studies, or a single brain. While a single high-resolution target brain is desirable to match anatomical detail, it can lead to bias in anatomical studies. An optimization method to reduce the individual anatomical bias of the ICBM high-resolution brain template (HRBT), a high-resolution MRI target brain image used in many laboratories, is presented. The HRBT was warped to all images in a group of 27 normal subjects. Displacement fields were averaged to calculate the "minimal deformation target" (MDT) transformation for optimization. The greatest anatomical changes in the HRBT, following optimization, were observed in the superior precentral and postcentral gyri on the right, the right inferior occipital, the right posterior temporal lobes, and the lateral ventricles. Compared with the original HRBT, the optimized HRBT showed better anatomical matching to the group of 27 brains. This was quantified by the improvements in spatial cross-correlation and between the group of brains and the optimized HRBT (P < 0.05). An intended use of this processing is to create a digital volumetric atlas that represents anatomy of a normal adult brain by optimizing the HRBT to the group consisting of 100+ normal subjects.