MarsAtlas: A cortical parcellation atlas for functional mapping

Hum Brain Mapp. 2016 Apr;37(4):1573-92. doi: 10.1002/hbm.23121. Epub 2016 Jan 27.


An open question in neuroimaging is how to develop anatomical brain atlases for the analysis of functional data. Here, we present a cortical parcellation model based on macroanatomical information and test its validity on visuomotor-related cortical functional networks. The parcellation model is based on a recently developed cortical parameterization method (Auzias et al., [2013]: IEEE Trans Med Imaging 32:873-887), called HIP-HOP. This method exploits a set of primary and secondary sulci to create an orthogonal coordinate system on the cortical surface. A natural parcellation scheme arises from the axes of the HIP-HOP model running along the fundus of selected sulci. The resulting parcellation scheme, called MarsAtlas, complies with dorsoventral/rostrocaudal direction fields and allows inter-subject matching. To test it for functional mapping, we analyzed a MEG dataset collected from human participants performing an arbitrary visuomotor mapping task. Single-trial high-gamma activity, HGA (60-120 Hz), was estimated using spectral analysis and beamforming techniques at cortical areas arising from a Talairach atlas (i.e., Brodmann areas) and MarsAtlas. Using both atlases, we confirmed that visuomotor associations involve an increase in HGA over the sensorimotor and fronto-parietal network, in addition to medial prefrontal areas. However, MarsAtlas provided: (1) crucial functional information along both the dorsolateral and rostrocaudal direction; (2) an increase in statistical significance. To conclude, our results suggest that the MarsAtlas is a valid anatomical atlas for functional mapping, and represents a potential anatomical framework for integration of functional data arising from multiple techniques such as MEG, intracranial EEG and fMRI.

Keywords: MEG; cortical parameterization; cortical parcellation; dorsoventral and rostrocaudal axes; functional segregation; gammaband neural activity; human brain atlas; visuomotor behaviors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Atlases as Topic*
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetoencephalography / methods
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Random Allocation
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Young Adult