We developed a semiautomatic method termed "cortical circumferential profiling" for objective analysis of cerebral cortex function in emission tomographic neuroimaging studies. This method treats cortex as a continuous ring near the outer brain edge. A computer algorithm samples the cortex at 60 contiguous, equiangular locations, using 1-cm2 samples. These values are plotted as a function of cortical angle to produce the cortical circumferential profile. This method was used in a study of regional cerebral perfusion in 15 patients with Alzheimer's disease and 8 elderly control subjects using N-isopropyl[I-123]-iodoamphetamine. Cortical circumferential profiling decreases variability, examines the entire cortex within slices at preselected levels above the orbital-meatal line, and facilitates intrasubject and intersubject comparisons.