View Full Version : Talairach Coordinates

Peng Wen
10-20-1999, 03:03 PM
Dear All,

Thank you for all the responses about "Talairach Coordinates". The
followings are my original question and the received answers.


I got a model coded in "Talairach Coordinates". I have no idea what
"Talairach Coordinates" is. Could anyone explain that to me or point me to
some references? I need to transfer the "Talairach Coordinates" into
Rectangular Coordinates and Spherical Coordinates. Is there any tools to do


1. Edward Auyang || auyanged@email.uc.edu
Biomechanics and Ergonomics Laboratories
Department of Environmental Health
University of Cincinnati Medical Center

The Talairach system is primarily for brain imaging (MRI/PET), at least,
that's the capacity in which I have used it. If it's been applied to
other anatomical locations, I am unaware of it. There is actually a book
called the Talairach Brain Atlas, that may be a start, or use those as
keywords in a web search.

2. Jack L. Lancaster, Ph.D.
Professor of Radiology
Chief, Biomedical Image Analysis Division
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
7703 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, TX 78284

Try an internet search with keyword Talairach. You should find a lot of
Here are severalf references that should help:

Lancaster JL, Glass TG, Lankipalli BR, Downs H, Mayberg H, Fox PT. A
modality-independent approach to spatial normalization. Human Brain mapping
1995; 3:209-223.

Lancaster JL, Fox PT, Downs H, Nickerson D, Hander T, El Mallah M, Zamarripa
F, "Global spatial normalization of the human brain using convex hulls",
Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 40(6):942-955, 1999.

Fox PT, Perlmutter JS, Raichle ME. A stereotactic method of anatomical
localization for positron emission tomography. J Comput Assist Tomogr 1985;

Fox PT. Spatial Normalization: Origins, objectives, applications and
alternatives. Human Brain Mapping 1995; 3:161-164.

Friston KJ, Passingham RE, Nutt JG, Heather JD, Sawle GV, Frackowiak RSJ.
Localization of PET images: Direct fitting of the intercommissural (AC-PC)
line. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 1989; 9:690-695.

// G. Anthony Reina, MD //
// The Neurosciences Institute //
// 10640 John Jay Hopkins Drive //
// San Diego, CA 92121 //
// Phone: (858) 626-2132 //
// FAX: (858) 626-2199 //

Talairach coordinates are used for magnetic resonance (MR) images. They
are not a coordinate axis system, but rather a way of "normalizing" the
MR image of a brain. For example, say you take 10 people and do an MR of
the brain on each person. The size and shape of the brain will be
slightly different for each. Talairach just described a way to take
certain landmarks in the brain as constants and morph the rest of the
brain around them to form a "normalized" brain. That way, when you do
some functional imaging (fMRI, for instance), you can compare the
results of one person to another.

I'm pretty sure that the coordinate system is still a rectangular
(cartesian) system measured in millimeters.

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