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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 690140, 13 pages
Research Article

Application of Self-Organizing Artificial Neural Networks on Simulated Diffusion Tensor Images

Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Bogazici University, Kandilli Campus, 34684 Istanbul, Turkey

Received 4 February 2013; Accepted 18 March 2013

Academic Editor: Matjaz Perc

Copyright © 2013 Dilek Göksel-Duru and Mehmed Özkan. 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.


Diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DTMRI) as a noninvasive modality providing in vivo anatomical information allows determination of fiber connections which leads to brain mapping. The success of DTMRI is very much algorithm dependent, and its verification is of great importance due to limited availability of a gold standard in the literature. In this study, unsupervised artificial neural network class, namely, self-organizing maps, is employed to discover the underlying fiber tracts. A common artificial diffusion tensor resource, named “phantom images for simulating tractography errors” (PISTE), is used for the accuracy verification and acceptability of the proposed approach. Four different tract geometries with varying SNRs and fractional anisotropy are investigated. The proposed method, SOFMAT, is able to define the predetermined fiber paths successfully with a standard deviation of (0.8–1.9) × 10−3 depending on the trajectory and the SNR value selected. The results illustrate the capability of SOFMAT to reconstruct complex fiber tract configurations. The ability of SOFMAT to detect fiber paths in low anisotropy regions, which physiologically may correspond to either grey matter or pathology (abnormality) and uncertainty areas in real data, is an advantage of the method for future studies.