Tianqi Song, Clémentine Bodin, and Olivier Coulon.
The surface of the cerebral cortex is very convoluted, with a large number of folds, the cortical sulci. These folds are extremely variable from one individual to another, and this large variability is a problem for many applications in neuroscience and brain imaging. In particular, sulcal geometry (shape) and sulcal topology (branches, number of pieces) are very variable. “Plis de passages” (PPs) or “annectant gyri” can explain part of the topological variability, namely why sulci have a variable number of pieces across subjects. The concept of PPs was first introduced by Gratiolet (1854) to describe transverse gyri that interconnect both sides of a sulcus, that are frequently buried in the depth of sulci, and that are sometimes apparent on the cortical surface, hence seemingly interrupting the course of sulci and separating them in several pieces. Nevertheless, the difficulty of identifying PPs and the lack of systematic methods to automatically detect them has limited their use. However, based on a recent characterization of PPs in the superior temporal sulcus, we present here a method to automatically detect PPs in the superior temporal sulcus. Local morphology within the sulcus is characterized using cortical surface profiling, and the three-dimensional PP recognition problem is performed as a two-dimensional image classification problem with class-imbalance. This is solved by using an ensemble support vector machine model (EnsSVM) with a rebalancing strategy. Cross validation and quantitative experimental results on an external dataset show the effectiveness and robustness of our approach.