Diffeomorphic registration for retinotopic maps of multiple visual regions

Yanshuai Tu, Xin Li, Zhong Lin Lu, Yalin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Retinotopic map, the mapping between visual inputs on the retina and neuronal responses on the cortical surface, is one of the central topics in vision science. Typically, human retinotopic maps are constructed by analyzing functional magnetic resonance responses to designed visual stimuli on the cortical surface. Although it is widely used in visual neuroscience, retinotopic maps are limited by the signal-to-noise ratio and spatial resolution of fMRI. One promising approach to improve the quality of retinotopic maps is to register individual subject’s retinotopic maps to a retinotopic template. However, none of the existing retinotopic registration methods has explicitly quantified the diffeomorphic condition, that is, retinotopic maps shall be aligned by stretching/compressing without tearing up the cortical surface. Here, we developed Diffeomorphic Registration for Retinotopic Maps (DRRM) to simultaneously align retinotopic maps in multiple visual regions under the diffeomorphic condition. Specifically, we used the Beltrami coefficient to model the diffeomorphic condition and performed surface registration based on retinotopic coordinates. The overall framework preserves the topological condition defined in the template. We further developed a unique evaluation protocol and compared the performance of the new method with several existing registration methods on both synthetic and real datasets. The results showed that DRRM is superior to the existing methods in achieving diffeomorphic registration in synthetic and empirical data from 3T and 7T MRI systems. DRRM may improve the interpretation of low-quality retinotopic maps and facilitate applications of retinotopic maps in clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1507-1522
Number of pages16
JournalBrain Structure and Function
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Beltrami coefficient
  • Diffeomorphic registration
  • fMRI analysis
  • Landmarks
  • Retinotopic map

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Histology


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