A dynamic 4D probabilistic atlas of the developing brain

Neuroimage. 2011 Feb 14;54(4):2750-63. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.10.019. Epub 2010 Oct 20.


Probabilistic atlases are widely used in the neuroscience community as a tool for providing a standard space for comparison of subjects and as tissue priors used to enhance the intensity-based classification of brain MRI. Most efforts so far have focused on static brain atlases either for adult or pediatric cohorts. In contrast to the adult brain the rapid growth of the neonatal brain requires an age-specific spatial probabilistic atlas to provide suitable anatomical and structural information. In this paper we describe a 4D probabilistic atlas that allows dynamic generation of prior tissue probability maps for any chosen stage of neonatal brain development between 29 and 44 gestational weeks. The atlas is created from the segmentations of 142 neonatal subjects at different ages using a kernel-based regression method and provides prior tissue probability maps for six structures - cortex, white matter, subcortical grey matter, brainstem, cerebellum and cerebro-spinal fluid. The atlas is publicly available at www.brain-development.org.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Anatomy, Artistic*
  • Atlases as Topic*
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth