Automatic labeling of cortical sulci for the human fetal brain based on spatio-temporal information of gyrification

Hyuk Jin Yun, Ai Wern Chung, Lana Vasung, Edward Yang, Tomo Tarui, Caitlin K. Rollins, Cynthia M. Ortinau, P. Ellen Grant, Kiho Im

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Accurate parcellation and labeling of primary cortical sulci in the human fetal brain is useful for regional analysis of brain development. However, human fetal brains show large spatio-temporal changes in brain size, cortical folding patterns, and relative position/size of cortical regions, making accurate automatic sulcal labeling challenging. Here, we introduce a novel sulcal labeling method for the fetal brain using spatio-temporal gyrification information from multiple fetal templates. First, spatial probability maps of primary sulci are generated on the templates from 23 to 33 gestational weeks and registered to an individual brain. Second, temporal weights, which determine the level of contribution to the labeling for each template, are defined by similarity of gyrification between the individual and the template brains. We combine the weighted sulcal probability maps from the multiple templates and adopt sulcal basin-wise approach to assign sulcal labels to each basin. Our labeling method was applied to 25 fetuses (22.9–29.6 gestational weeks), and the labeling accuracy was compared to manually assigned sulcal labels using the Dice coefficient. Moreover, our multi-template basin-wise approach was compared to a single-template approach, which does not consider the temporal dynamics of gyrification, and a fully-vertex-wise approach. The mean accuracy of our approach was 0.958 across subjects, significantly higher than the accuracies of the other approaches. This novel approach shows highly accurate sulcal labeling and provides a reliable means to examine characteristics of cortical regions in the fetal brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-482
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Cortical surface
  • Fetal brain
  • Multi-template labeling
  • Parcellation
  • Primary sulci


Dive into the research topics of 'Automatic labeling of cortical sulci for the human fetal brain based on spatio-temporal information of gyrification'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this