Mapping Informative Clusters in a Hierarchial Framework of fMRI Multivariate AnalysisReport as inadecuate

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Pattern recognition methods have become increasingly popular in fMRI data analysis, which are powerful in discriminating between multi-voxel patterns of brain activities associated with different mental states. However, when they are used in functional brain mapping, the location of discriminative voxels varies significantly, raising difficulties in interpreting the locus of the effect. Here we proposed a hierarchical framework of multivariate approach that maps informative clusters rather than voxels to achieve reliable functional brain mapping without compromising the discriminative power. In particular, we first searched for local homogeneous clusters that consisted of voxels with similar response profiles. Then, a multi-voxel classifier was built for each cluster to extract discriminative information from the multi-voxel patterns. Finally, through multivariate ranking, outputs from the classifiers were served as a multi-cluster pattern to identify informative clusters by examining interactions among clusters. Results from both simulated and real fMRI data demonstrated that this hierarchical approach showed better performance in the robustness of functional brain mapping than traditional voxel-based multivariate methods. In addition, the mapped clusters were highly overlapped for two perceptually equivalent object categories, further confirming the validity of our approach. In short, the hierarchical framework of multivariate approach is suitable for both pattern classification and brain mapping in fMRI studies.

Author: Rui Xu, Zonglei Zhen , Jia Liu



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