A Bayesian morphometry algorithm

Edward H. Herskovits, Hanchuan Peng, Christos Davatzikos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Most methods for structure-function analysis of the brain in medical images are usually based on voxel-wise statistical tests performed on registered magnetic resonance (MR) images across subjects. A major drawback of such methods is the inability to accurately locate regions that manifest nonlinear associations with clinical variables. In this paper, we propose Bayesian morphological analysis methods, based on a Bayesian-network representation, for the analysis of MR brain images. First, we describe how Bayesian networks (BNs) can represent probabilistic associations among voxels and clinical (function) variables. Second, we present a model-selection framework, which generates a BN that captures structure-function relationships from MR brain images and function variables. We demonstrate our methods in the context of determining associations between regional brain atrophy (as demonstrated on MR images of the brain), and functional deficits. We employ two data sets for this evaluation: the first contains MR images of 11 subjects, where associations between regional atrophy and a functional deficit are almost linear; the second data set contains MR images of the ventricles of 84 subjects, where the structure-function association is nonlinear. Our methods successfully identify voxel-wise morphological changes that are associated with functional deficits in both data sets, whereas standard statistical analysis (i.e., t-test and paired t-test) fails in the nonlinear-association case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-737
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE transactions on medical imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Bayes procedures
  • Bayesian network
  • Computational anatomy
  • Image analysis
  • Image classification
  • Morphology-function analysis
  • Voxel-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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