Extendable supervised dictionary learning for exploring diverse and concurrent brain activities in task-based fMRI

Brain Imaging Behav. 2018 Jun;12(3):743-757. doi: 10.1007/s11682-017-9733-8.


Recently, a growing body of studies have demonstrated the simultaneous existence of diverse brain activities, e.g., task-evoked dominant response activities, delayed response activities and intrinsic brain activities, under specific task conditions. However, current dominant task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (tfMRI) analysis approach, i.e., the general linear model (GLM), might have difficulty in discovering those diverse and concurrent brain responses sufficiently. This subtraction-based model-driven approach focuses on the brain activities evoked directly from the task paradigm, thus likely overlooks other possible concurrent brain activities evoked during the information processing. To deal with this problem, in this paper, we propose a novel hybrid framework, called extendable supervised dictionary learning (E-SDL), to explore diverse and concurrent brain activities under task conditions. A critical difference between E-SDL framework and previous methods is that we systematically extend the basic task paradigm regressor into meaningful regressor groups to account for possible regressor variation during the information processing procedure in the brain. Applications of the proposed framework on five independent and publicly available tfMRI datasets from human connectome project (HCP) simultaneously revealed more meaningful group-wise consistent task-evoked networks and common intrinsic connectivity networks (ICNs). These results demonstrate the advantage of the proposed framework in identifying the diversity of concurrent brain activities in tfMRI datasets.

Keywords: Dictionary learning; Hybrid framework; Sparse representation; Task fMRI.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Connectome / methods*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Mental Processes / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / diagnostic imaging
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Supervised Machine Learning