We present an ovine, unbiased, population-averaged standard magnetic resonance imaging template brain volume that offers a common stereotaxic reference frame to localize anatomical and functional information in an organized and reliable way for comparison across individual sheep and studies. We have used t1w MRI volumes from a group of 14 normal adult sheep to create the template and a priori probability of cerebral gray (GM) and white (WM) matter as well as cerebrospinalfluid (CSF). Thus, the atlas does not rely on the anatomy of a single subject, but instead depends on nonlinear normalization of numerous sheep brains mapped to an average template image that is faithful to the location of anatomical structures.


Tools for registering a native MRI to the ovine space can be found at the website of the McConnel Brain Imaging Centre, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill Faculty of Medicine, CA. (click [here] to open the website).


The following publications should be referenced when using this atlas:

  • Nitzsche B, Frey S, Collins LD, Seeger J, Lobsien D, Dreyer A, Kirsten H, Stoffel MH, Fonov VS and Boltze J (2015). A stereotaxic, population-averaged T1w ovine brain atlas including cerebral morphology and tissue volumes. Front. Neuroanat. 9:69. doi: 10.3389/fnana.2015.00069
  • Fonov V, Evans AC, Botteron K, Almli CR, McKinstry RC& Collins DL (2011). Unbiased average age-appropriate atlases for pediatric studies. Neuroimage. 54 (1), 313–327.

The ovine, unbiased, population-averaged MRI template and TPM for brain segmentation