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

  • Donnell LJO, Westin CF. Automatic tractography segmentation using a high-dimensional white matter atlas. IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2007;26(11):1562–75.
    We propose a new white matter atlas creation method that learns a model of the common white matter structures present in a group of subjects. We demonstrate that our atlas creation method, which is based on group spectral clustering of tractography, discovers structures corresponding to expected white matter anatomy such as the corpus callosum, uncinate fasciculus, cingulum bundles, arcuate fasciculus, and corona radiata. The white matter clusters are augmented with expert anatomical labels and stored in a new type of atlas that we call a high-dimensional white matter atlas. We then show how to perform automatic segmentation of tractography from novel subjects by extending the spectral clustering solution, stored in the atlas, using the Nystrom method. We present results regarding the stability of our method and parameter choices. Finally we give results from an atlas creation and automatic segmentation experiment. We demonstrate that our automatic tractography segmentation identifies corresponding white matter regions across hemispheres and across subjects, enabling group comparison of white matter anatomy.
  • Lesniak J, Tokuda J, Kikinis R, Burghart C, Hata N. A device guidance method for organ motion compensation in MRI-guided therapy. Phys Med Biol. 2007;52(21):6427–38.
    Organ motion compensation in image-guided therapy is an active area of research. However, there has been little research on motion tracking and compensation in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided therapy. In this paper, we present a method to track a moving organ in MRI and control an active mechanical device for motion compensation. The method proposed is based on MRI navigator echo tracking enhanced by Kalman filtering for noise robustness. We also developed an extrapolation scheme to resolve any discrepancies between tracking and device control sampling rates. The algorithm was tested in a simulation study using a phantom and an active mechanical tool holder. We found that the method is feasible to use in a clinical MRI scanner with sufficient accuracy (0.36 mm to 1.51 mm depending on the range of phantom motion) and is robust to noise. The method proposed may be useful in MRI-guided targeted therapy, such as focused ultrasound therapy for a moving organ.
  • Kindlmann G, Ennis DB, Whitaker RT, Westin CF. Diffusion tensor analysis with invariant gradients and rotation tangents. IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2007;26(11):1483–99.
    Guided by empirically established connections between clinically important tissue properties and diffusion tensor parameters, we introduce a framework for decomposing variations in diffusion tensors into changes in shape and orientation. Tensor shape and orientation both have three degrees-of-freedom, spanned by invariant gradients and rotation tangents, respectively. As an initial demonstration of the framework, we create a tunable measure of tensor difference that can selectively respond to shape and orientation. Second, to analyze the spatial gradient in a tensor volume (a third-order tensor), our framework generates edge strength measures that can discriminate between different neuroanatomical boundaries, as well as creating a novel detector of white matter tracts that are adjacent yet distinctly oriented. Finally, we apply the framework to decompose the fourth-order diffusion covariance tensor into individual and aggregate measures of shape and orientation covariance, including a direct approximation for the variance of tensor invariants such as fractional anisotropy.
  • Yeo BTT, Sabuncu M, Mohlberg H, Amunts K, Zilles K, Golland P, Fischl B. What Data to Co-register for Computing Atlases. Proc IEEE Int Conf Comput Vis. 2007;2007.
    We argue that registration should be thought of as a means to an end, and not as a goal by itself. In particular, we consider the problem of predicting the locations of hidden labels of a test image using observable features, given a training set with both the hidden labels and observable features. For example, the hidden labels could be segmentation labels or activation regions in fMRI, while the observable features could be sulcal geometry or MR intensity. We analyze a probabilistic framework for computing an optimal atlas, and the subsequent registration of a new subject using only the observable features to optimize the hidden label alignment to the training set. We compare two approaches for co-registering training images for the atlas construction: the traditional approach of only using observable features and a novel approach of only using hidden labels. We argue that the alternative approach is superior particularly when the relationship between the hidden labels and observable features is complex and unknown. As an application, we consider the task of registering cortical folds to optimize Brodmann area localization. We show that the alignment of the Brodmann areas improves by up to 25% when using the alternative atlas compared with the traditional atlas. To the best of our knowledge, these are the most accurate Brodmann area localization results (achieved via cortical fold registration) reported to date.
  • Maddah M, Wells WM, Warfield SK, Westin CF, Grimson EL. Probabilistic clustering and quantitative analysis of white matter fiber tracts. Inf Process Med Imaging. 2007;20:372–83.
    A novel framework for joint clustering and point-by-point mapping of white matter fiber pathways is presented. Accurate clustering of the trajectories into fiber bundles requires point correspondence determined along the fiber pathways. This knowledge is also crucial for any tract-oriented quantitative analysis. We employ an expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm to cluster the trajectories in a Gamma mixture model context. The result of clustering is the probabilistic assignment of the fiber trajectories to each cluster, an estimate of the cluster parameters, and point correspondences along the trajectories. Point-by-point correspondence of the trajectories within a bundle is obtained by constructing a distance map and a label map from each cluster center at every iteration of the EM algorithm. This offers a time-efficient alternative to pairwise curve matching of all trajectories with respect to each cluster center. Probabilistic assignment of the trajectories to clusters is controlled by imposing a minimum threshold on the membership probabilities, to remove outliers in a principled way. The presented results confirm the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed framework for quantitative analysis of diffusion tensor MRI.