Discriminative Sparse Connectivity Patterns for Classification of fMRI Data

  • Harini Eavani
  • Theodore D. Satterthwaite
  • Raquel E. Gur
  • Ruben C. Gur
  • Christos Davatzikos
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8675)


Functional connectivity using resting-state fMRI has emerged as an important research tool for understanding normal brain function as well as changes occurring during brain development and in various brain disorders. Most prior work has examined changes in pair-wise functional connectivity values using a multi-variate classification approach, such as Support Vector Machines (SVM). While it is powerful, SVMs produce a dense set of high-dimensional weight vectors as output, which are difficult to interpret, and require additional post-processing to relate to known functional networks. In this paper, we propose a joint framework that combines network identification and classification, resulting in a set of networks, or Sparse Connectivity Patterns (SCPs) which are functionally interpretable as well as highly discriminative of the two groups. Applied to a study of normal development classifying children vs. adults, the proposed method provided accuracy of 76%(AUC= 0.85), comparable to SVM (79%,AUC=0.87), but with dramatically fewer number of features (50 features vs. 34716 for the SVM). More importantly, this leads to a tremendous improvement in neuro-scientific interpretability, which is specially advantageous in such a study where the group differences are wide-spread throughout the brain. Highest-ranked discriminative SCPs reflect increases in long-range connectivity in adults between the frontal areas and posterior cingulate regions. In contrast, connectivity between the bilateral parahippocampal gyri was decreased in adults compared to children.


Support Vector Machine Functional Connectivity Independent Component Analysis Default Mode Network Blood Oxygen Level Dependent 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harini Eavani
    • 1
  • Theodore D. Satterthwaite
    • 2
  • Raquel E. Gur
    • 2
  • Ruben C. Gur
    • 2
  • Christos Davatzikos
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Biomedical Image Computing and AnalyticsUniversity of PennsylvaniaUSA
  2. 2.Brain Behavior LaboratoryUniversity of PennsylvaniaUSA

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