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Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1349851, 25 pages
Research Article

BrainK for Structural Image Processing: Creating Electrical Models of the Human Head

1Electrical Geodesics, Inc., 500 E. 4th Avenue, Eugene, OR 97401, USA
2Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA

Received 29 May 2015; Revised 8 September 2015; Accepted 17 March 2016

Academic Editor: Christophe Grova

Copyright © 2016 Kai Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BrainK is a set of automated procedures for characterizing the tissues of the human head from MRI, CT, and photogrammetry images. The tissue segmentation and cortical surface extraction support the primary goal of modeling the propagation of electrical currents through head tissues with a finite difference model (FDM) or finite element model (FEM) created from the BrainK geometries. The electrical head model is necessary for accurate source localization of dense array electroencephalographic (dEEG) measures from head surface electrodes. It is also necessary for accurate targeting of cerebral structures with transcranial current injection from those surface electrodes. BrainK must achieve five major tasks: image segmentation, registration of the MRI, CT, and sensor photogrammetry images, cortical surface reconstruction, dipole tessellation of the cortical surface, and Talairach transformation. We describe the approach to each task, and we compare the accuracies for the key tasks of tissue segmentation and cortical surface extraction in relation to existing research tools (FreeSurfer, FSL, SPM, and BrainVisa). BrainK achieves good accuracy with minimal or no user intervention, it deals well with poor quality MR images and tissue abnormalities, and it provides improved computational efficiency over existing research packages.