Validation of group-wise registration for surface-based functional MRI analysis
Chang Yu, Yue Liu, Leon Cai, Cailey Kerley, Kaiwen Xu, Katherine Aboud, Warren Taylor, Hakmook Kang, Andrea Shafer, Lori Beason-Held, Susan Resnick, Bennett Landman, Ilwoo Lyu. “Validation of group-wise registration for surface-based functional MRI analysis”. SPIE Medical Imaging 2021.
Resting-state functional MRI (rsfMRI) provides important information for studying and mapping the activities and functions of the brain. Conventionally, rsfMRIs are often registered to structural images in the Euclidean space without considering cortical surface geometry. Meanwhile, a surface-based representation offers a relaxed coordinate chart, but this still requires surface registration for group-wise data analysis. In this work, we investigate the performance of two existing surface registration methods in a surface-based rsfMRI analysis framework: FreeSurfer and Hierarchical Spherical Deformation (HSD). To minimize registration bias, we establish shape correspondence using both methods in a group-wise manner that estimates the unbiased average of a given cohort. To evaluate their performance, we focus on neuroanatomical alignment as well as the amount of distortion that can potentially bias surface tessellation for secondary level rsfMRI data analyses. In the pilot analysis, we examine a single timepoint of imaging data from 100 subjects out of an aging cohort. Overall, HSD establishes improved shape correspondence with reduced mean curvature deviation (10.94% less on average per subject, paired t-test: p <10-10) and reduced registration distortion (FreeSurfer: average 41.91% distortion per subject, HSD: 18.63%, paired t-test: p <10-10). Furthermore, HSD introduces less distortion than FreeSurfer in the areas identified in the individual components that were extracted by surface-based independent component analysis (ICA) after spatial smoothing and time series normalization. Consequently, we show that FreeSurfer capture individual components with globally similar but locally different patterns in ICA in visual inspection.