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Riemannian Metric Optimization on Surfaces (RMOS) for Intrinsic Brain Mapping in the Laplace-Beltrami Embedding Space

Source: Medical Image Analysis 2018 May;46:189-201.
Author: Jin Kyu Gahm, Yonggang Shi, and for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative
PubMed ID: 29574399

Surface mapping methods play an important role in various brain imaging studies from tracking the maturation of adolescent brains to mapping gray matter atrophy patterns in Alzheimer’s disease. Popular surface mapping approaches based on spherical registration, however, have inherent numerical limitations when severe metric distortions are present during the spherical parameterization step. In this paper, we propose a novel computational framework for intrinsic surface mapping in the Laplace-Beltrami (LB) embedding space based on Riemannian metric optimization on surfaces (RMOS). Given a diffeomorphism between two surfaces, an isometry can be defined using the pullback metric, which in turn results in identical LB embeddings from the two surfaces. The proposed RMOS approach builds upon this mathematical foundation and achieves general feature-driven surface mapping in the LB embedding space by iteratively optimizing the Riemannian metric defined on the edges of triangular meshes. At the core of our framework is an optimization engine that converts an energy function for surface mapping into a distance measure in the LB embedding space, which can be effectively optimized using gradients of the LB eigen-system with respect to the Riemannian metrics. In the experimental results, we compare the RMOS algorithm with spherical registration using large-scale brain imaging data, and show that RMOS achieves superior performance in the prediction of hippocampal subfields and cortical gyral labels, and the holistic mapping of striatal surfaces for the construction of a striatal connectivity atlas from substantia nigra.