Anatomically compliant modes of variations: new tools for brain connectivity


Statistical learning
Living Systems and Precision Medicine
Anatomically compliant modes of variations: new tools for brain connectivity
Friday 22nd December 2023
Clementi, L.; Arnone, E.; Santambrogio, M.D.; Franceschetti, S.; Panzica, F.; Sangalli, L.M.
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Anatomical complexity and data dimensionality present major issues when analysing brain connectivity data. The functional and anatomical aspects of the connections taking place in the brain are in fact equally relevant and strongly intertwined. However, due to theoretical challenges and computational issues, their relationship is often overlooked in neuroscience and clinical research. In this work, we propose to tackle this problem through Smooth Functional Principal Component Analysis, which enables to perform dimensional reduction and exploration of the variability in functional connectivity maps, complying with the formidably complicated anatomy of the grey matter volume. In particular, we analyse a population that includes controls and subjects affected by schizophrenia, starting from fMRI data acquired at rest and during a task-switching paradigm. For both sessions, we first identify the common modes of variation in the entire population. We hence explore whether the subjects’ expressions along these common modes of variation differ between controls and pathological subjects. In each session, we find principal components that are significantly differently expressed in the healthy vs pathological subjects (with p-values < 0.001), highlighting clearly interpretable differences in the connectivity in the two subpopulations. For instance, the second and third principal components for the rest session capture the imbalance between the Default Mode and Executive Networks characterizing schizophrenia patients.
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Plos One