A population MRI brain template and analysis tools for the macaque

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Abstract

The use of standard anatomical templates is common in human neuroimaging, as it facilitates data analysis and comparison across subjects and studies. For non-human primates, previous in vivo templates have lacked sufficient contrast to reliably validate known anatomical brain regions and have not provided tools for automated single-subject processing. Here we present the “National Institute of Mental Health Macaque Template”, or NMT for short. The NMT is a high-resolution in vivo MRI template of the average macaque brain generated from 31 subjects, as well as a neuroimaging tool for improved data analysis and visualization. From the NMT volume, we generated maps of tissue segmentation and cortical thickness. Surface reconstructions and transformations to previously published digital brain atlases are also provided. We further provide an analysis pipeline using the NMT that automates and standardizes the time-consuming processes of brain extraction, tissue segmentation, and morphometric feature estimation for anatomical scans of individual subjects. The NMT and associated tools thus provide a common platform for precise single-subject data analysis and for characterizations of neuroimaging results across subjects and studies.

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