Quantitative comparison and analysis of sulcal patterns using sulcal graph matching: A twin study

Kiho Im, Rudolph Pienaar, Jong Min Lee, Joon Kyung Seong, Yu Yong Choi, Kun Ho Lee, P. Ellen Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


The global pattern of cortical sulci provides important information on brain development and functional compartmentalization. Sulcal patterns are routinely used to determine fetal brain health and detect cerebral malformations. We present a quantitative method for automatically comparing and analyzing the sulcal pattern between individuals using a graph matching approach. White matter surfaces were reconstructed from volumetric T1 MRI data and sulcal pits, the deepest points in local sulci, were identified on this surface. The sulcal pattern was then represented as a graph structure with sulcal pits as nodes. The similarity between graphs was computed with a spectral-based matching algorithm by using the geometric features of nodes (3D position, depth and area) and their relationship. In particular, we exploited the feature of graph topology (the number of edges and the paths between nodes) to highlight the interrelated arrangement and patterning of sulcal folds. We applied this methodology to 48 monozygotic twins and showed that the similarity of the sulcal graphs in twin pairs was significantly higher than in unrelated pairs for all hemispheres and lobar regions, consistent with a genetic influence on sulcal patterning. This novel approach has the potential to provide a quantitative and reliable means to compare sulcal patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1077-1086
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government ( NRF-2009-352-D00344 ).

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Graph matching
  • Sulcal pattern
  • Sulcal pit
  • Twin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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