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High-resolution intersubject averaging and a coordinate system for the cortical surface.

The neurons of the human cerebral cortex are arranged in a highly folded sheet, with the majority of the cortical surface area buried in folds. Cortical maps are typically arranged with a topography oriented parallel to the cortical surface. Despite this unambiguous sheetlike geometry, the most commonly used coordinate systems for localizing cortical features are based on 3-D stereotaxic coordinates rather than on position relative to the 2-D cortical sheet. In order to address the need for a more natural surface-based coordinate system for the cortex, we have developed a means for generating an average folding pattern across a large number of individual subjects as a function on the unit sphere and of nonrigidly aligning each individual with the average. This establishes a spherical surface-based coordinate system that is adapted to the folding pattern of each individual subject, allowing for much higher localization accuracy of structural and functional features of the human brain.

Pubmed ID: 10619420


  • Fischl B
  • Sereno MI
  • Tootell RB
  • Dale AM


Human brain mapping

Publication Data

January 20, 1999

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NEI NIH HHS, Id: EY07980

Mesh Terms

  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Models, Neurological