Program for assisted labeling of sulcal regions (PALS): Description and reliability

Maryam E. Rettmann, Duygu Tosun, Xiaodong Tao, Susan M. Resnick, Jerry L. Prince

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the improvements in techniques for generating surface models from magnetic resonance (MR) images, it has recently become feasible to study the morphological characteristics of the human brain cortex in vivo. Studies of the entire surface are important for measuring global features, but analysis of specific cortical regions of interest provides a more detailed understanding of structure. We have previously developed a method for automatically segmenting regions of interest from the cortical surface using a watershed transform. Each segmented region corresponds to a cortical sulcus and is thus termed a "sulcal region." In this work, we describe two important augmentations of this methodology. First, we describe a user interface that allows for the efficient labeling of the segmented sulcal regions called the Program for Assisted Labeling of Sulcal Regions (PALS). An additional augmentation allows for even finer divisions on the cortex with a methodology that employs the fast marching technique to track a curve on the cortical surface that is then used to separate segmented regions. After regions of interest have been identified, we compute both the cortical surface area and gray matter volume. Reliability experiments are performed to assess both the long-term stability and short-term repeatability of the proposed techniques. These experiments indicate the proposed methodology gives both highly stable and repeatable results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-416
Number of pages19
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2005


  • Cortical features
  • Fast marching
  • Human brain cortex
  • Sulci
  • Sulcus
  • Watershed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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