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Automated anatomical labeling of activations in SPM using a macroscopic anatomical parcellation of the MNI MRI single-subject brain.

An anatomical parcellation of the spatially normalized single-subject high-resolution T1 volume provided by the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) (D. L. Collins et al., 1998, Trans. Med. Imag. 17, 463-468) was performed. The MNI single-subject main sulci were first delineated and further used as landmarks for the 3D definition of 45 anatomical volumes of interest (AVOI) in each hemisphere. This procedure was performed using a dedicated software which allowed a 3D following of the sulci course on the edited brain. Regions of interest were then drawn manually with the same software every 2 mm on the axial slices of the high-resolution MNI single subject. The 90 AVOI were reconstructed and assigned a label. Using this parcellation method, three procedures to perform the automated anatomical labeling of functional studies are proposed: (1) labeling of an extremum defined by a set of coordinates, (2) percentage of voxels belonging to each of the AVOI intersected by a sphere centered by a set of coordinates, and (3) percentage of voxels belonging to each of the AVOI intersected by an activated cluster. An interface with the Statistical Parametric Mapping package (SPM, J. Ashburner and K. J. Friston, 1999, Hum. Brain Mapp. 7, 254-266) is provided as a freeware to researchers of the neuroimaging community. We believe that this tool is an improvement for the macroscopical labeling of activated area compared to labeling assessed using the Talairach atlas brain in which deformations are well known. However, this tool does not alleviate the need for more sophisticated labeling strategies based on anatomical or cytoarchitectonic probabilistic maps.

Pubmed ID: 11771995


  • Tzourio-Mazoyer N
  • Landeau B
  • Papathanassiou D
  • Crivello F
  • Etard O
  • Delcroix N
  • Mazoyer B
  • Joliot M



Publication Data

January 4, 2002

Associated Grants


Mesh Terms

  • Brain
  • Brain Mapping
  • Computer Graphics
  • Dominance, Cerebral
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Reference Values