Large Scale Functional Connectivity for Brain Decoding

Orhan Firat, Itir Onal, Emre Aksan, Burak Velioglu, Ilke Oztekin, and Fatos T. Yarman Vural


Data Mining and Machine Learning, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Medical Image Processing, Brain State Decoding, Functional Connectivity, MVPA


Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) data consists of time series for each voxel recorded during a cognitive task. In order to extract useful information from this noisy and redundant data, techniques are proposed to select the voxels that are relevant to the underlying cognitive task. We propose a simple and efficient algorithm for decoding the brain states by modelling the correlation patterns between the voxel time series. For each stimulus during the experiment, a separate functional connectivity matrix is computed in voxel level. The elements in connectivity matrices are then filtered out by making use of a minimum spanning tree formed using a global connectivity matrix for the entire experiment in order to reduce dimensionality. For a recognition memory experiment with nine subjects, functional connectivity matrices are computed for encoding and retrieval phases. The class labels of the retrieval samples are predicted within a k-nearest neighbour space constructed by the traversed entries in the functional connectivity matrices for encoding samples. The proposed method is also adapted to large scale functional connectivity tasks by making use of graphics boards. Classification performance in ten categories is comparable and even better compared to both classical and enhanced methods of multi-voxel pattern analysis techniques.

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