An Anatomically Curated Fiber Clustering White Matter Atlas for Consistent White Matter Tract Parcellation across the Lifespan
An Immersive Virtual Reality Environment for Diagnostic Imaging
Inter-site and Inter-scanner Diffusion MRI Data Harmonization
The Open Anatomy Browser: A Collaborative Web-Based Viewer for Interoperable Anatomy Atlases
Unsupervised Discovery of Emphysema Subtypes in a Large Clinical Cohort
Identifying Shared Brain Networks in Individuals by Decoupling Functional and Anatomical Variability
Supra-Threshold Fiber Cluster Statistics for Data-Driven Whole Brain Tractography Analysis
Free Water Modeling of Peritumoral Edema using Multi-fiber Tractography
Estimation of Bounded and Unbounded Trajectories in Diffusion MRI
Principal Gradient of Macroscale Cortical Organization
Slide 10
Evolution of a Simultaneous Segmentation and Atlas Registration
Multi-modality MRI-based Atlas of the Brain
Intracranial Fluid Redistribution
Corticospinal Tract Modeling for Neurosurgical Planning by Tracking through Regions of Peritumoral Edema and Crossing Fibers
Automated White Matter Fiber Tract Identification in Patients with Brain Tumors
State-space Models of Mental Processes from fMRI
Robust Initialization of Active Shape Models for Lung Segmentation in CT Scans: A Feature-Based Atlas Approach
Tractography-driven Groupwise Multi-Scale Parcellation of the Cortex
Gray Matter Alterations in Early Aging
Statistical Shape Analysis: From Landmarks to Diffeomorphisms
A Generative Probabilistic Model and Discriminative Extensions for Brain Lesion Segmentation
Joint Modeling of Imaging and Genetic Variability
MR-Ultrasound Fusion for Neurosurgery
Diffusion MRI and Tumor Heterogeneity
SlicerDMRI: Open Source Diffusion MRI Software for Brain Cancer Research

Neuroimage Analysis Center

The Neuroimaging Analysis Center is a research and technology center with the mission of advancing the role of neuroimaging in health care. The ability to access huge cohorts of patient medical records and radiology data, the emergence of ever-more detailed imaging modalities, and the availability of unprecedented computer processing power marks the possibility for a new era in neuroimaging, disease understanding, and patient treatment. We are excited to present a national resource center with the goal of finding new ways of extracting disease characteristics from advanced imaging and computation, and to make these methods available to the larger medical community through a proven methodology of world-class research, open-source software, and extensive collaboration.

Our Sponsor


The NAC is a Biomedical Technology Resource Center supported by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) (P41 EB015902). It was supported by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) (P41 RR13218) through December 2011.

Contact the Center Directors


Carl-Fredrik Westin, PhD
Laboratory of Mathematics in Imaging
Brigham and Women's Hospital
1249 Boylston St., Room 240
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: +1 617 525-6209
E-mail: westin at

Ron Kikinis

Ron Kikinis, MD
Surgical Planning Laboratory 
Brigham and Women's Hospital 
75 Francis St, L1 Room 050
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: +1 617 732-7389
E-mail: kikinis at


Recent Publications

  • Hata N, Jinzaki M, Kacher DF, Cormak R, Gering D, Nabavi A, G SS, Amico AD V, Kikinis R, Jolesz FA, Tempany CM. MR Imaging-guided Prostate Biopsy with Surgical Navigation Software: Device Validation and Feasibility. Radiology. 2001;220(1):263–8.
    Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging—guided prostate biopsy in a 0.5-T open imager is described, validated in phantom studies, and performed in two patients. The needles are guided by using fast gradient-recalled echo and T2-weighted fast spin-echo images. Surgical navigation software provided T2-weighted images critical to targeting the peripheral zone and the tumor. MR imaging can be used to guide prostate biopsy.
  • Hirayasu Y, Tanaka S, Shenton ME, Salisbury DF, Desantis MA, Levitt JJ, Wible CG, Yurgelun-Todd D, Kikinis R, Jolesz FA, McCarley RW. Prefrontal Gray Matter Volume Reduction in First Episode Schizophrenia. Cereb Cortex. 2001;11(4):374–81.
    Functional measures have consistently shown prefrontal abnormalities in schizophrenia. However, structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings of prefrontal volume reduction have been less consistent. In this study, we evaluated prefrontal gray matter volume in first episode (first hospitalized) patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, compared with first episode patients diagnosed with affective psychosis and normal comparison subjects, to determine the presence in and specificity of prefrontal abnormalities to schizophrenia. Prefrontal gray and white matter volumes were measured from first episode patients with schizophrenia (n = 17), and from gender and parental socio-economic status-matched subjects with affective (mainly manic) psychosis (n = 17) and normal comparison subjects (n = 17), age-matched within a narrow age range (18—29 years). Total (left and right) prefrontal gray matter volume was significantly reduced in first episode schizophrenia compared with first episode affective psychosis and comparison subjects. Follow-up analyses indicated significant left prefrontal gray matter volume reduction and trend level reduction on the right. Schizophrenia patients showed 9.2% reduction on the left and 7.7% reduction on the right compared with comparison subjects. White matter volumes did not differ among groups. These data suggest that prefrontal cortical gray matter volume reduction is selectively present at first hospitalization in schizophrenia but not affective psychosis.
  • Nabavi A, Black PM, Gering D, Westin CF, , Pergolizzi R, Ferrant M, Warfield SK, Hata N, Schwartz R, Wells WM 3rd, Kikinis R, Jolesz FA. Serial Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Brain Shift. Neurosurgery. 2001;48(4):787–97.
    OBJECTIVE: A major shortcoming of image-guided navigational systems is the use of preoperatively acquired image data, which does not account for intraoperative changes in brain morphology. The occurrence of these surgically induced volumetric deformations ("brain shift") has been well established. Maximal measurements for surface and midline shifts have been reported. There has been no detailed analysis, however, of the changes that occur during surgery. The use of intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging provides a unique opportunity to obtain serial image data and characterize the time course of brain deformations during surgery. METHODS: The vertically open intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging system (SignaSP, 0.5 T; GE Medical Systems, Milwaukee, WI) permits access to the surgical field and allows multiple intraoperative image updates without the need to move the patient. We developed volumetric display software (the 3D Slicer) that allows quantitative analysis of the degree and direction of brain shift. For 25 patients, four or more intraoperative volumetric image acquisitions were extensively evaluated. RESULTS: Serial acquisitions allow comprehensive sequential descriptions of the direction and magnitude of intraoperative deformations. Brain shift occurs at various surgical stages and in different regions. Surface shift occurs throughout surgery and is mainly attributable to gravity. Subsurface shift occurs during resection and involves collapse of the resection cavity and intraparenchymal changes that are difficult to model. CONCLUSION: Brain shift is a continuous dynamic process that evolves differently in distinct brain regions. Therefore, only serial imaging or continuous data acquisition can provide consistently accurate image guidance. Furthermore, only serial intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging provides an accurate basis for the computational analysis of brain deformations, which might lead to an understanding and eventual simulation of brain shift for intraoperative guidance.
  • Lorigo L, Faugeras OD, Grimson WE, Keriven R, Kikinis R, Nabavi A, Westin CF. CURVES: Curve Evolution for Vessel Segmentation. Med Image Anal. 2001;5(3):195–206.
    The vasculature is of utmost importance in neurosurgery. Direct visualization of images acquired with current imaging modalities, however, cannot provide a spatial representation of small vessels. These vessels, and their branches which show considerable variations, are most important in planning and performing neurosurgical procedures. In planning they provide information on where the lesion draws its blood supply and where it drains. During surgery the vessels serve as landmarks and guidelines to the lesion. The more minute the information is, the more precise the navigation and localization of computer guided procedures. Beyond neurosurgery and neurological study, vascular information is also crucial in cardiovascular surgery, diagnosis, and research. This paper addresses the problem of automatic segmentation of complicated curvilinear structures in three-dimensional imagery, with the primary application of segmenting vasculature in magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) images. The method presented is based on recent curve and surface evolution work in the computer vision community which models the object boundary as a manifold that evolves iteratively to minimize an energy criterion. This energy criterion is based both on intensity values in the image and on local smoothness properties of the object boundary, which is the vessel wall in this application. In particular, the method handles curves evolving in 3D, in contrast with previous work that has dealt with curves in 2D and surfaces in 3D. Results are presented on cerebral and aortic MRA data as well as lung computed tomography (CT) data.
  • Ruiz-Alzola J, Kikinis R, Westin CF. Detection of Point Landmarks in Multidimensional Tensor Data. Signal Processing. 2001;81(10):2243–47.
    This paper describes a unified approach to the detection of point landmarks-whose neighborhoods convey discriminant information-including multidimensional scalar, vector, and higher-order tensor data. The method is based on the interpretation of generalized correlation matrices derived from the gradient of tensor functions, a probabilistic interpretation of point landmarks, and the application of tensor algebra. Results on both synthetic and real tensor data are presented.