Skip to Main Content
In order to compare anatomical and functional brain imaging data across subjects, the images must first be registered to a common coordinate system in which anatomical features are aligned. Intensity-based volume registration methods can align subcortical structures well, but the variability in sulcal folding patterns typically results in misalignment of the cortical surface. Conversely, surface-based registration using sulcal features can produce excellent cortical alignment but the mapping between brains is restricted to the cortical surface. Here we describe a method for volumetric registration that also produces an accurate one-to-one point correspondence between cortical surfaces. This is achieved by first parameterizing and aligning the cortical surfaces using sulcal landmarks. We then use a constrained harmonic mapping to extend this surface correspondence to the entire cortical volume. Finally, this mapping is refined using an intensity-based warp. We demonstrate the utility of the method by applying it to T1-weighted magnetic resonance images (MRIs). We evaluate the performance of our proposed method relative to existing methods that use only intensity information; for this comparison we compute the intersubject alignment of expert-labeled subcortical structures after registration.