A computational growth model for measuring dynamic cortical development in the first year of life

Jingxin Nie, Gang Li, Li Wang, John H. Gilmore, Weili Lin, Dinggang Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Human cerebral cortex develops extremely fast in the first year of life. Quantitative measurement of cortical development during this early stage plays an important role in revealing the relationship between cortical structural and high-level functional development. This paper presents a computational growth model to simulate the dynamic development of the cerebral cortex from birth to 1 year old by modeling the cerebral cortex as a deformable elastoplasticity surface driven via a growth model. To achieve a high accuracy, a guidance model is also incorporated to estimate the growth parameters and cortical shapes at later developmental stages. The proposed growth model has been applied to 10 healthy subjects with longitudinal brain MR images acquired at every 3 months from birth to 1 year old. The experimental results show that our proposed method can capture the dynamic developmental process of the cortex, with the average surface distance error smaller than 0.6 mm compared with the ground truth surfaces, and the results also show that 1) the curvedness and sharpness decrease from 2 weeks to 12 months and 2) the frontal lobe shows rapidly increasing cortical folding during this period, with relatively slower increase of the cortical folding in the occipital and parietal lobes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2272-2284
Number of pages13
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Oct


  • cortical development simulation
  • cortical surface
  • growth model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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