Manual MRI parcellation of the frontal lobe

Marin E. Ranta, Deana Crocetti, Jacqueline A. Clauss, Michael A. Kraut, Stewart H. Mostofsky, Walter E. Kaufmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ability to examine associations between neuropsychiatric conditions and functionally relevant frontal lobe sub-regions is a fundamental goal in neuropsychiatry, but methods for identifying frontal sub-regions in MR (magnetic resonance) images are not well established. Prior published techniques have principally defined gyral regions that do not necessarily correspond to known functional divisions. We present a method in which sulcal-gyral landmarks are used to manually delimit functionally relevant regions within the frontal lobe: primary motor cortex, anterior cingulate, deep white matter, premotor cortex regions (supplementary motor complex (SMC), frontal eye field and lateral premotor cortex) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) regions (medial PFC, dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC), inferior PFC, lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and medial OFC). Feasibility was tested by applying the protocol to brain MR data from 15 boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and 15 typically developing controls, 8-12 years old. Intra- and inter-rater intraclass correlation coefficients were calculated using parcellation volumes from a subset of that group. Inter-rater results for the 22 hemisphere specific sub-regions ranged from 0.724 to 0.997, with all but seven values above 0.9. Boys with ADHD showed significantly smaller left hemisphere SMC and DLPFC volumes after normalization for total cerebral volume. These findings support the method as a reliable and valid technique for parcellating the frontal lobe into functionally relevant sub-regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-154
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 15 2009


  • ADHD
  • Children
  • Cortex
  • Prefrontal
  • Premotor
  • Segmentation
  • Supplementary motor complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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