Template-O-Matic Toolbox

We have in the past compiled average templates (CCHMC pediatric brain templates) for use in SPM99 and now add the Template-O-Matic for use in Statistical Parametric Mapping (bottom, see also Wilke et al., NeuroImage (2008) 41: 903-913). This new toolbox allows to create a high-quality, matched template for a pediatric sample, based on the statistical analysis of a large, healthy pediatric reference population.


The Template-O-Matic Toolbox has been updated to run in SPM8. This update allows the user to generate customized priors for "classical" unified segmentation (GM, WM, CSF, and T1) as well as for "new segment" (GM, WM, CSF, T1 plus 3 non-brain tissue classes in a single .nii-file). The new version also includes an integrated update algorithm that allows easy access to possible updates and fixes. Both toolboxes (the updated version for spm8 and the original version for spm5) are available on the downloads page.

The templates are made available free of charge to all interested parties for research purposes only.

Why did we do this?

Based on imaging data from the NIH study of normal brain development, we have developed a radically new approach to creating customized pediatric templates. Using the general linear model, we statistically isolate the influence of external variables of interest on brain structure, allowing us to generate high-quality matched templates for each subject. The toolbox offers two options:

  • To create pediatric templates (T1) and tissue maps (GM, WM, and CSF) for use in unified segmentation (SPM5, SPM8), or pediatric templates (T1) and tissue maps (GM, WM, and CSF, plus 3 background classes) for use with "new segment" (SPM8) based on the objective 1 NIH data (n = 404), in the age range of 5-18 years.
  • To assess a new reference population with regard to your variables of interest.

Of note, this approach is generally applicable and in no way restricted to analyzing pediatric imaging data: if you aim at investigating the effects of aging in elderly subjects, the toolbox will also allow you to create more appropriate reference (if your group is large enough to isolate such effects).


The data has been processed and compiled in various ways to accommodate a wide range of possible research approaches. While the toolbox is made available free of charge to all interested parties for research purposes only, we ask you to register before downloading.