Rapid advancement of advanced neuroimaging techniques, data processing and analysis in neuroimaging has allowed researchers to investigate the brain in novel ways. Stereotaxic cortical brain atlases divide the cortex into architectonically distinct regions which are thought to correlate to function. They have become a vital tool for tissue segmentation and cortical localization and allow for a standardization of processing and analysis in functional, diffusion and structural MRI techniques. Although architectonically based stereotaxic cortical brain atlases have been created for humans, rodents, primates and felines, to date, none have been made available for the canine. In this study we created a canine brain atlas from high resolution T1-weighted MRI data generated in vivo from 30 neurologically healthy, mixed breed, mesaticephalic dogs. This atlas includes a population template and a cortical atlas. The effect of normalization of brain data from canine populations with differing skull shapes to the population template was tested. The cortical atlas was created by manual segmentation of the cerebral cortex to delineate regions with distinct myeloarchitecture. When dogs with differing skull shapes where normalized to the final population template, brachycephalics demonstrated the highest warping of neural structures. The myeloarchitectonic based cortical parcellation resulted in generation of 108 cortical regions per hemisphere grouped into frontal, sensory-motor, perisylvian, parietal, cingulate and occipital lobar areas. This study introduces a foundational tool to the field of veterinary neuroimaging, opening doors for novel advanced MRI techniques to be used to improve our understanding of neuroanatomy and neuropathology in the dog.
Upon completion, participants will be able to understand what a stereotactic brain atlas is and why it is important for MRI data processing and analysis.
Upon completion, participants will be able to understand what stereotactic brain atlases are available for veterinary neuroimaging analysis, their benefits and weaknesses.
Upon completion, participants will be able to download an open-source cortical atlas for the canine brain