Here we propose a novel method to compute Teichmiiller shape space based shape index to study brain morphometry. Such a shape index is intrinsic, and invariant under conformal transformations, rigid motions and scaling. We conformally map a genus-zero open boundary surface to the Poincaré disk with the Yamabe flow method. The shape indices that we compute are the lengths of a special set of geodesics under hyperbolic metric. Tests on longitudinal brain imaging data were used to demonstrate the stability of the derived feature vectors. In leave-one-out validation tests, we achieved 100% accurate classification (versus only 68% accuracy for volume measures) in distinguishing 11 HIV/AIDS individuals from 8 healthy control subjects, based on Teichmüller coordinates for lateral ventricular surfaces extracted from their 3D MRI scans.
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