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

  • Pohl KM, Kikinis R, Wells WM III. Active Mean Fields: Solving the Mean Field Approximation in the Level Set Framework. Inf Process Med Imaging. 2007;20:26–37.
    We describe a new approach for estimating the posterior probability of tissue labels. Conventional likelihood models are combined with a curve length prior on boundaries, and an approximate posterior distribution on labels is sought via the Mean Field approach. Optimizing the resulting estimator by gradient descent leads to a level set style algorithm where the level set functions are the logarithm-of-odds encoding of the posterior label probabilities in an unconstrained linear vector space. Applications with more than two labels are easily accommodated. The label assignment is accomplished by the Maximum A Posteriori rule, so there are no problems of "overlap" or "vacuum". We test the method on synthetic images with additive noise. In addition, we segment a magnetic resonance scan into the major brain compartments and subcortical structures.
  • Dauguet J, Peled S, Berezovskii V, Delzescaux T, Warfield SK, Born R, Westin CF. Comparison of fiber tracts derived from in-vivo DTI tractography with 3D histological neural tract tracer reconstruction on a macaque brain. Neuroimage. 2007;37(2):530–8.
    Since the introduction of diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) as a method for examining neural connectivity, its accuracy has not been formally evaluated. In this study, we directly compared connections that were visualized using injected neural tract tracers (WGA-HRP) with those obtained using in-vivo diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography. First, we injected the tracer at multiple sites in the brain of a macaque monkey; second, we reconstructed the histological sections of the labeled fiber tracts in 3D; third, we segmented and registered the fibers (somatosensory and motor tracts) with the anatomical in-vivo MRI from the same animal; and last, we conducted fiber tracing along the same pathways on the DTI data using a classical diffusion tracing technique with the injection sites as seeds. To evaluate the performance of DTI fiber tracing, we compared the fibers derived from the DTI tractography with those segmented from the histology. We also studied the influence of the parameters controlling the tractography by comparing Dice superimposition coefficients between histology and DTI segmentations. While there was generally good visual agreement between the two methods, our quantitative comparisons reveal certain limitations of DTI tractography, particularly for regions at remote locations from seeds. We have thus demonstrated the importance of appropriate settings for realistic tractography results.
  • Nain D, Styner MA, Niethammer M, Levitt JJ, Shenton ME, Gerig G, Bobick A, Tannenbaum A. STATISTICAL SHAPE ANALYSIS OF BRAIN STRUCTURES USING SPHERICAL WAVELETS. Proc IEEE Int Symp Biomed Imaging. 2007;4:209–212.
    We present a novel method of statistical surface-based morphometry based on the use of non-parametric permutation tests and a spherical wavelet (SWC) shape representation. As an application, we analyze two brain structures, the caudate nucleus and the hippocampus, and compare the results obtained to shape analysis using a sampled point representation. Our results show that the SWC representation indicates new areas of significance preserved under the FDR correction for both the left caudate nucleus and left hippocampus. Additionally, the spherical wavelet representation provides a natural way to interpret the significance results in terms of scale in addition to knowing the spatial location of the regions.
  • RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: To perform a retrospective, quantitative assessment of the anatomic relationship between intra-axial, supratentorial, primary brain tumors, and adjacent white matter fiber tracts based on anatomic and diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We hypothesized that white matter infiltration may be common among different types of tumor. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Preoperative, anatomic (T1- and T2-weighted), and LINESCAN diffusion tensor MRI were obtained in 12 patients harboring supratentorial gliomas (World Health Organization [WHO] Grades II and III). The two imaging modalities were rigidly registered. The tumors were manually segmented from the T1- and T2-weighted MRI, and their volume calculated. A three-dimensional tractography was performed in each case. A second segmentation and volume measurement was performed on the tumor regions intersecting adjacent white matter fiber tracts. Statistical methods included summary statistics to examine the fraction of tumor volume infiltrating adjacent white matter. RESULTS: There were five patients with low-grade oligodendroglioma (WHO Grade II), one with low-grade mixed oligoastrocytoma (WHO Grade II), one with ganglioglioma, two with low-grade astrocytoma (WHO Grade II), and three with anaplastic astrocytoma (WHO Grade III). We identified white matter tracts infiltrated by tumor in all 12 cases. The median tumor volume (+/- standard deviation) in our patient population was 42.5 +/- 28.9 mL. The median tumor volume (+/- standard deviation) infiltrating white matter fiber tracts was 5.2 +/- 9.9 mL. The median percentage of tumor volume infiltrating white matter fiber tracts was 21.4% +/- 9.7%. CONCLUSIONS: The information provided by diffusion tensor imaging combined with anatomic MRI might be useful for neurosurgical planning and intraoperative guidance. Our results confirm previous reports that extensive white matter infiltration by primary brain tumors is a common occurrence. However, prospective, large population studies are required to definitively clarify this issue, and how infiltration relates to histologic tumor type, tumor size, and location.
  • Dimaio SP, Pieper S, Chinzei K, Hata N, Haker SJ, Kacher DF, Fichtinger G, Tempany CM, Kikinis R. Robot-assisted Needle Placement in Open MRI: System Architecture, Integration and Validation. Comput Aided Surg. 2007;12(1):15–24.
    In prostate cancer treatment, there is a move toward targeted interventions for biopsy and therapy, which has precipitated the need for precise image-guided methods for needle placement. This paper describes an integrated system for planning and performing percutaneous procedures with robotic assistance under MRI guidance. A graphical planning interface allows the physician to specify the set of desired needle trajectories, based on anatomical structures and lesions observed in the patient’s registered pre-operative and pre-procedural MR images, immediately prior to the intervention in an open-bore MRI scanner. All image-space coordinates are automatically computed, and are used to position a needle guide by means of an MRI-compatible robotic manipulator, thus avoiding the limitations of the traditional fixed needle template. Automatic alignment of real-time intra-operative images aids visualization of the needle as it is manually inserted through the guide. Results from in-scanner phantom experiments are provided.