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Volumetric and correlational implications of brain parcellation method selection: a 3-way comparison in the frontal lobes.

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    Rights statement: Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CCBY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
JournalJournal of computer assisted tomography
Early online date13 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Objective: To compare distinct brain frontal lobe parcellation methods across 90 brain MRI scans, and examine their associations with cognition in older age. Methods: Three parcellation methods (Manual, FreeSurfer and Stereology) were applied to T1-weighted MRI of 90 older men, aged ~73 years. A measure of general fluid intelligence (gf) associated with dorsolateral frontal regions was also derived from a contemporaneous psychological test battery. Results: In spite of highly discordant raw volumes for the same nominal regions, Manual and FreeSurfer (but not Stereology) left dorsolateral measures were significantly correlated with gf (r > .22), whereas orbital and inferior lateral volumes were not, consistent with the hypothesised frontal localisation of gf. Conclusions: Individual differences in specific frontal lobe brain volumes - variously measured – show consistent associations with cognitive ability in older age. Importantly, differences in parcellation protocol for some regions that may impact the outcome of brain-cognition analyses are discussed.

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