Computer tool maps ridges on brain’s bumpy surface

New software charts the crests of the folds that define the brain’s surface, or cerebral cortex, in people with autism.

The cerebral cortex has distinctive crests and valleys, called gyri and sulci. These folds accommodate a large number of brain cells within the confines of the skull. Some studies suggest that people with autism have altered patterns of brain folding and unusually shaped sulci. But few studies have focused on gyri.

The new tool uses data from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to depict gyri in a mesh-like form, dubbed a gyral net. Two software packages identify the gyri in the scans. An algorithm then removes some of the detail, leaving a mesh made up of lines, each of which represents a ridge.

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1st September 2017