On the relationship between seed-based and ICA-based measures of functional connectivity

Magn Reson Med. 2011 Sep;66(3):644-57. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22818. Epub 2011 Mar 10.


Brain functional connectivity (FC) refers to inter-regional synchrony of low frequency fluctuations in blood oxygenation level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging. FC has been evaluated both during task performance and in the "resting" state, yielding reports of FC differences correlated with behavior and diagnosis. Two methodologies are widely used for evaluating FC from blood oxygenation level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging data: Temporal correlation with a specified seed voxel or small region of interest; and spatial independent component analysis. While results from seed-based and independent component analysis methodologies are generally similar, they are conceptually different. This study is intended to elucidate and illustrate, qualitatively and quantitatively, the relationship between seed and independent component analysis derived measures of FC. Seed-based FC measures are shown to be the sum of independent component analysis-derived within network connectivities and between network connectivities. We present a simple simulation and an experiment on visuomotor activity that highlight this relationship between the two methods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Oxygen / blood*
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*


  • Oxygen