Analyzing the neocortical fine-structure

Med Image Anal. 2003 Sep;7(3):251-64. doi: 10.1016/s1361-8415(03)00006-9.


Cytoarchitectonic fields of the human neocortex are defined by characteristic variations in the composition of a general six-layer structure. It is commonly accepted that these fields correspond to functionally homogeneous entities. Diligent techniques were developed to characterize cytoarchitectonic fields by staining sections of post-mortem brains and subsequent statistical evaluation. Fields were found to show a considerable interindividual variability in extent and relation to macroscopic anatomical landmarks. With upcoming new high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocols, it appears worthwhile to examine the feasibility of characterizing the neocortical fine-structure from anatomical MRI scans, thus, defining neocortical fields by in vivo techniques. A fixated brain hemisphere was scanned at a resolution of approximately 0.3 mm. After correcting for intensity inhomogeneities in the dataset, the cortex boundaries (the white/grey matter and grey matter/background interfaces) were determined as a triangular mesh. Radial intensity profiles following the shortest path through the cortex were computed and characterized by a sparse set of features. A statistical similarity measure between features of different regions was defined, and served to define the extent of Brodmann's Areas 4, 17, 44 and 45 in this dataset.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Algorithms*
  • Cadaver
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Frontal Lobe / cytology
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Motor Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Motor Cortex / cytology
  • Neocortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Neocortex / cytology
  • Nerve Net / anatomy & histology
  • Nerve Net / cytology
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated
  • Somatosensory Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Somatosensory Cortex / cytology
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Visual Cortex / cytology