Construction of 4D infant cortical surface atlases with sharp folding patterns via spherical patch-based group-wise sparse representation

Hum Brain Mapp. 2019 Sep;40(13):3860-3880. doi: 10.1002/hbm.24636. Epub 2019 May 21.


4D (spatial + temporal) infant cortical surface atlases covering dense time points are highly needed for understanding dynamic early brain development. In this article, we construct a set of 4D infant cortical surface atlases with longitudinally consistent and sharp cortical attribute patterns at 11 time points in the first six postnatal years, that is, at 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 60, and 72 months of age, which is targeted for better normalization of the dynamic changing early brain cortical surfaces. To ensure longitudinal consistency and unbiasedness, we adopt a two-stage group-wise surface registration. To preserve sharp cortical attribute patterns on the atlas, instead of simply averaging over the coregistered cortical surfaces, we leverage a spherical patch-based sparse representation using the augmented dictionary to overcome the potential registration errors. Our atlases provide not only geometric attributes of the cortical folding, but also cortical thickness and myelin content. Therefore, to address the consistency across different cortical attributes on the atlas, instead of sparsely representing each attribute independently, we jointly represent all cortical attributes with a group-wise sparsity constraint. In addition, to further facilitate region-based analysis using our atlases, we have also provided two widely used parcellations, that is, FreeSurfer parcellation and multimodal parcellation, on our 4D infant cortical surface atlases. Compared to cortical surface atlases constructed with other methods, our cortical surface atlases preserve sharper cortical folding attribute patterns, thus leading to better accuracy in registration of individual infant cortical surfaces to the atlas.

Keywords: cortical attributes; cortical parcellation; group-wise sparsity; infant cortical surface atlas; surface registration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Atlases as Topic*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cerebral Cortex / growth & development*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neuroimaging / methods*