224 research outputs found

    A blind deconvolution approach to recover effective connectivity brain networks from resting state fMRI data

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    A great improvement to the insight on brain function that we can get from fMRI data can come from effective connectivity analysis, in which the flow of information between even remote brain regions is inferred by the parameters of a predictive dynamical model. As opposed to biologically inspired models, some techniques as Granger causality (GC) are purely data-driven and rely on statistical prediction and temporal precedence. While powerful and widely applicable, this approach could suffer from two main limitations when applied to BOLD fMRI data: confounding effect of hemodynamic response function (HRF) and conditioning to a large number of variables in presence of short time series. For task-related fMRI, neural population dynamics can be captured by modeling signal dynamics with explicit exogenous inputs; for resting-state fMRI on the other hand, the absence of explicit inputs makes this task more difficult, unless relying on some specific prior physiological hypothesis. In order to overcome these issues and to allow a more general approach, here we present a simple and novel blind-deconvolution technique for BOLD-fMRI signal. Coming to the second limitation, a fully multivariate conditioning with short and noisy data leads to computational problems due to overfitting. Furthermore, conceptual issues arise in presence of redundancy. We thus apply partial conditioning to a limited subset of variables in the framework of information theory, as recently proposed. Mixing these two improvements we compare the differences between BOLD and deconvolved BOLD level effective networks and draw some conclusions

    Leave-one-out prediction error of systolic arterial pressure time series under paced breathing

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    In this paper we show that different physiological states and pathological conditions may be characterized in terms of predictability of time series signals from the underlying biological system. In particular we consider systolic arterial pressure time series from healthy subjects and Chronic Heart Failure patients, undergoing paced respiration. We model time series by the regularized least squares approach and quantify predictability by the leave-one-out error. We find that the entrainment mechanism connected to paced breath, that renders the arterial blood pressure signal more regular, thus more predictable, is less effective in patients, and this effect correlates with the seriousness of the heart failure. The leave-one-out error separates controls from patients and, when all orders of nonlinearity are taken into account, alive patients from patients for which cardiac death occurred

    Natural clustering: the modularity approach

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    We show that modularity, a quantity introduced in the study of networked systems, can be generalized and used in the clustering problem as an indicator for the quality of the solution. The introduction of this measure arises very naturally in the case of clustering algorithms that are rooted in Statistical Mechanics and use the analogy with a physical system.Comment: 11 pages, 5 figure enlarged versio

    Grouping time series by pairwise measures of redundancy

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    A novel approach is proposed to group redundant time series in the frame of causality. It assumes that (i) the dynamics of the system can be described using just a small number of characteristic modes, and that (ii) a pairwise measure of redundancy is sufficient to elicit the presence of correlated degrees of freedom. We show the application of the proposed approach on fMRI data from a resting human brain and gene expression profiles from HeLa cell culture.Comment: 4 pages, 8 figure

    Disambiguating the role of blood flow and global signal with partial information decomposition

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    Global signal (GS) is an ubiquitous construct in resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI), associated to nuisance, but containing by definition most of the neuronal signal. Global signal regression (GSR) effectively removes the impact of physiological noise and other artifacts, but at the same time it alters correlational patterns in unpredicted ways. Performing GSR taking into account the underlying physiology (mainly the blood arrival time) has been proven to be beneficial. From these observations we aimed to: 1) characterize the effect of GSR on network-level functional connectivity in a large dataset; 2) assess the complementary role of global signal and vessels; and 3) use the framework of partial information decomposition to further look into the joint dynamics of the global signal and vessels, and their respective influence on the dynamics of cortical areas. We observe that GSR affects intrinsic connectivity networks in the connectome in a non-uniform way. Furthermore, by estimating the predictive information of blood flow and the global signal using partial information decomposition, we observe that both signals are present in different amounts across intrinsic connectivity networks. Simulations showed that differences in blood arrival time can largely explain this phenomenon, while using hemodynamic and calcium mouse recordings we were able to confirm the presence of vascular effects, as calcium recordings lack hemodynamic information. With these results we confirm network-specific effects of GSR and the importance of taking blood flow into account for improving de-noising methods. Additionally, and beyond the mere issue of data denoising, we quantify the diverse and complementary effect of global and vessel BOLD signals on the dynamics of cortical areas

    Visibility graphs for fMRI data: Multiplex temporal graphs and their modulations across resting-state networks.

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    Visibility algorithms are a family of methods that map time series into graphs, such that the tools of graph theory and network science can be used for the characterization of time series. This approach has proved a convenient tool, and visibility graphs have found applications across several disciplines. Recently, an approach has been proposed to extend this framework to multivariate time series, allowing a novel way to describe collective dynamics. Here we test their application to fMRI time series, following two main motivations, namely that (a) this approach allows vs to simultaneously capture and process relevant aspects of both local and global dynamics in an easy and intuitive way, and (b) this provides a suggestive bridge between time series and network theory that nicely fits the consolidating field of network neuroscience. Our application to a large open dataset reveals differences in the similarities of temporal networks (and thus in correlated dynamics) across resting-state networks, and gives indications that some differences in brain activity connected to psychiatric disorders could be picked up by this approach

    Identification of network modules by optimization of ratio association

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    We introduce a novel method for identifying the modular structures of a network based on the maximization of an objective function: the ratio association. This cost function arises when the communities detection problem is described in the probabilistic autoencoder frame. An analogy with kernel k-means methods allows to develop an efficient optimization algorithm, based on the deterministic annealing scheme. The performance of the proposed method is shown on a real data set and on simulated networks

    Lagged and instantaneous dynamical influences related to brain structural connectivity

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    Contemporary neuroimaging methods can shed light on the basis of human neural and cognitive specializations, with important implications for neuroscience and medicine. Different MRI acquisitions provide different brain networks at the macroscale; whilst diffusion-weighted MRI (dMRI) provides a structural connectivity (SC) coincident with the bundles of parallel fibers between brain areas, functional MRI (fMRI) accounts for the variations in the blood-oxygenation-level-dependent T2* signal, providing functional connectivity (FC).Understanding the precise relation between FC and SC, that is, between brain dynamics and structure, is still a challenge for neuroscience. To investigate this problem, we acquired data at rest and built the corresponding SC (with matrix elements corresponding to the fiber number between brain areas) to be compared with FC connectivity matrices obtained by 3 different methods: directed dependencies by an exploratory version of structural equation modeling (eSEM), linear correlations (C) and partial correlations (PC). We also considered the possibility of using lagged correlations in time series; so, we compared a lagged version of eSEM and Granger causality (GC). Our results were two-fold: firstly, eSEM performance in correlating with SC was comparable to those obtained from C and PC, but eSEM (not C nor PC) provides information about directionality of the functional interactions. Second, interactions on a time scale much smaller than the sampling time, captured by instantaneous connectivity methods, are much more related to SC than slow directed influences captured by the lagged analysis. Indeed the performance in correlating with SC was much worse for GC and for the lagged version of eSEM. We expect these results to supply further insights to the interplay between SC and functional patterns, an important issue in the study of brain physiology and function.Comment: Accepted and published in Frontiers in Psychology in its current form. 27 pages, 1 table, 5 figures, 2 suppl. figure

    The effect of neural adaptation of population coding accuracy

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    Most neurons in the primary visual cortex initially respond vigorously when a preferred stimulus is presented, but adapt as stimulation continues. The functional consequences of adaptation are unclear. Typically a reduction of firing rate would reduce single neuron accuracy as less spikes are available for decoding, but it has been suggested that on the population level, adaptation increases coding accuracy. This question requires careful analysis as adaptation not only changes the firing rates of neurons, but also the neural variability and correlations between neurons, which affect coding accuracy as well. We calculate the coding accuracy using a computational model that implements two forms of adaptation: spike frequency adaptation and synaptic adaptation in the form of short-term synaptic plasticity. We find that the net effect of adaptation is subtle and heterogeneous. Depending on adaptation mechanism and test stimulus, adaptation can either increase or decrease coding accuracy. We discuss the neurophysiological and psychophysical implications of the findings and relate it to published experimental data.Comment: 35 pages, 8 figure
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