We have established a population average surface-based atlas of human cerebral cortex at term gestation and used it to compare infant and adult cortical shape characteristics. Accurate cortical surface reconstructions for each hemisphere of 12 healthy term gestation infants were generated from structural magnetic resonance imaging data using a novel segmentation algorithm. Each surface was inflated, flattened, mapped to a standard spherical configuration, and registered to a target atlas sphere that reflected shape characteristics of all 24 contributing hemispheres using landmark constrained surface registration. Population averagemapsof sulcal depth, depth variability, three-dimensional positional variability, and hemispheric depth asymmetry were generated and compared with previously established maps of adult cortex. We found that cortical structure in term infants is similar to the adult in many respects, including the pattern of individual variability and the presence of statistically significant structural asymmetries in lateral temporal cortex, including the planum temporale and superior temporal sulcus. These results indicate that several features of cortical shape are minimally influenced by the postnatal environment.