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Xie, W., Richards, J.E., Lei, D., Zhu, H., Lee, K., & Gong, Q. (2015). The construction of MRI brain / head templates for Chinese children from 7 - 16 years of age. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.(pdf )

Population-specific brain templates that provide detailed brain information are beneficial to both structural and functional neuroimaging research. However, age-specific MRI templates have not been constructed for Chinese or any Asian developmental populations. This study developed novel T1-weighted average brain and head templates for Chinese children from 7 to 16 years of age in two-year increments using high quality magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and well-validated image analysis techniques. A total of 138 Chinese children (51 F/ 87 M) were included in this study. The internally and externally validated registrations show that these Chinese age-specific templates fit Chinese children’s MR images significantly better than age-specific templates created from U.S. children, or adult templates based on either Chinese or North American adults. It implies that age-inappropriate (e.g., the Chinese56 template, the US20-24 template) and nationality-inappropriate brain templates (e.g., U.S. children’s templates, the US20-24 template) do not provide optimal reference MRIs for processing MR brain images of Chinese pediatric populations. Thus, our age-specific MRI templates are the first of the kind and should be useful in neuroimaging studies with children from Chinese or other Asian populations. These templates can also serve as the foundations for the construction of more comprehensive sets of nationality-specific templates for Asian developmental populations. These templates are available for use in our database.