Automatic symmetry detection from brain MRI based on a 2-channel convolutional neural network

Huisi Wu, Xiujuan Chen, Ping Li, Zhenkun Wen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Symmetry detection is a method to extract the ideal mid-sagittal plane (MSP) from brain magnetic resonance (MR) images, which can significantly improve the diagnostic accuracy of brain diseases. In this article, we propose an automatic symmetry detection method for brain MR images in 2-D slices based on a 2-channel convolutional neural network (CNN). Different from the existing detection methods that mainly rely on the local image features (gradient, edge, etc.) to determine the MSP, we use a CNN-based model to implement the brain symmetry detection, which does not require any local feature detections and feature matchings. By training to learn a wide variety of benchmarks in the brain images, we can further use a 2-channel CNN to evaluate the similarity between the pairs of brain patches, which are randomly extracted from the whole brain slice based on a Poisson sampling. Finally, a scoring and ranking scheme is used to identify the optimal symmetry axis for each input brain MR slice. Our method was evaluated in 2166 artificial synthesized brain images and 3064 collected in vivo MR images, which included both healthy and pathological cases. The experimental results display that our method achieves excellent performance for symmetry detection. Comparisons with the state-of-the-art methods also demonstrate the effectiveness and advantages for our approach in achieving higher accuracy than the previous competitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4464-4475
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • 2-channel convolutional neural network (CNN)
  • brain MRI
  • deep learning
  • mid-sagittal plane (MSP) detection
  • symmetry detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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