Though it is often termed 'subcortical,' the hippocampus is composed of a folded 'archicortical' sheet contiguous with the neocortex. The human hippocampus varies considerably in its internal folding configuration, creating major challenges in interindividual alignment and parcellation into subfields. In this opinion article, we discuss surface-based methods that aim to explicitly model hippocampal folding, similar to methods used in the neocortex, allowing interindividual alignment in an unfolded or flat-mapped 2D space. Such an approach enables detailed morphological characterization, constrains the problem of subfield segmentation, and provides a way to visualize data without occlusions. We argue that, when applied to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data, such methods overcome pitfalls of more conventional manual or registration-based subfield segmentation approaches.
Keywords: MRI; computational anatomy; gyrification; histology; registration; topology.
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