The impact of traditional neuroimaging methods on the spatial localization of cortical areas

Timothy S. Coalson, David C. Van Essen, Matthew F. Glasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

Localizing human brain functions is a long-standing goal in systems neuroscience. Toward this goal, neuroimaging studies have traditionally used volume-based smoothing, registered data to volume-based standard spaces, and reported results relative to volume-based parcellations. A novel 360-area surface-based cortical parcellation was recently generated using multimodal data from the Human Connectome Project, and a volume-based version of this parcellation has frequently been requested for use with traditional volume-based analyses. However, given the major methodological differences between traditional volumetric and Human Connectome Project-style processing, the utility and interpretability of such an altered parcellation must first be established. By starting from automatically generated individual-subject parcellations and processing them with different methodological approaches, we show that traditional processing steps, especially volume-based smoothing and registration, substantially degrade cortical area localization compared with surface-based approaches. We also show that surface-based registration using features closely tied to cortical areas, rather than to folding patterns alone, improves the alignment of areas, and that the benefits of high-resolution acquisitions are largely unexploited by traditional volume-based methods. Quantitatively, we show that the most common version of the traditional approach has spatial localization that is only 35% as good as the best surface-based method as assessed using two objective measures (peak areal probabilities and “captured area fraction” for maximum probability maps). Finally, we demonstrate that substantial challenges exist when attempting to accurately represent volume-based group analysis results on the surface, which has important implications for the interpretability of studies, both past and future, that use these volume-based methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E6356-E6365
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume115
Issue number27
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018

Keywords

  • Blurring
  • CIFTI grayordinates
  • Cross-subject alignment
  • Neuroimaging analysis
  • Standard space

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of traditional neuroimaging methods on the spatial localization of cortical areas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this