Computation of Local Fractal Dimension Values of the Human Cerebral Cortex


Objectives: The purpose of this paper is to describe a technique for computing the local fractal dimension of the human cerebral cortex as extracted from high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging scans. Methods: 3D models of the human cerebral cortex were extracted from high resolution magnetic resonance images of 10 healthy adult volunteers using FreeSurfer. The local fractal dimension of the cortex was computed using a custom-written cube-counting algorithm. The effect of constraining the maximum region size on the measured value of local fractal dimension was examined. A proof of principle was demonstrated by comparing an individual with Alzheimer’s disease to a healthy individual. Results: Local values of cortical fractal dimension can be obtained by constraining the size of the region over which the cube counting is performed. Cubic regions of intermediate size (30 × 30 × 30 mm) yielded a profile that demonstrated greater regional variability compared to smaller (15 × 15 × 15 mm) or larger (60 × 60 × 60 mm) region sizes. Conclusions: Local fractal dimension of the cerebral cortex is a novel measure that may yield additional, quantitative insight into the clinical meaning of cortical shape changes.

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King, R. (2014) Computation of Local Fractal Dimension Values of the Human Cerebral Cortex. Applied Mathematics, 5, 1733-1740. doi: 10.4236/am.2014.512166.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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