Real-world magnetic resonance imaging of the brain is affected by intensity nonuniformity (INU) phenomena which makes it difficult to fully automate the segmentation process. This difficult task is accomplished in this work by using a new method with two original features: (1) each brain tissue class is locally modeled using a local linear region representative, which allows us to account for the INU in an implicit way and to more accurately position the region’s boundaries; and (2) the region models are embedded in the level set framework, so that the spatial coherence of the segmentation can be controlled in a natural way. Our new method has been tested on the ground-truthed Internet Brain Segmentation Repository (IBSR) database and gave promising results, with Tanimoto indexes ranging from 0.61 to 0.79 for the classification of the white matter and from 0.72 to 0.84 for the gray matter. To our knowledge, this is the first time a region-based level set model has been used to perform the segmentation of real-world MRI brain scans with convincing results.