Task fMRI data analysis based on supervised stochastic coordinate coding

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Task functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been widely employed for brain activation detection and brain network analysis. Modeling rich information from spatially-organized collection of fMRI time series is challenging because of the intrinsic complexity. Hypothesis-driven methods, such as the general linear model (GLM), which regress exterior stimulus from voxel-wise functional brain activity, are limited due to overlooking the complexity of brain activities and the diversity of concurrent brain networks. Recently, sparse representation and dictionary learning methods have attracted increasing interests in task fMRI data analysis. The major advantage of this methodology is its promise in reconstructing concurrent brain networks systematically. However, this data-driven strategy is, to some extent, arbitrary and does not sufficiently utilize the prior information of task design and neuroscience knowledge. To bridge this gap, we here propose a novel supervised sparse representation and dictionary learning framework based on stochastic coordinate coding (SCC) algorithm for task fMRI data analysis, in which certain brain networks are learned with known information such as pre-defined temporal patterns and spatial network patterns, and at the same time other networks are learned automatically from data. Our proposed method has been applied to two independent task fMRI datasets, and qualitative and quantitative evaluations have shown that our method provides a new and effective framework for task fMRI data analysis.

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