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Neuroimage. 2010 Feb 15;49(4):3110-21. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.11.011. Epub 2009 Nov 18.

Discriminative analysis of resting-state functional connectivity patterns of schizophrenia using low dimensional embedding of fMRI.

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College of Mechatronics and Automation, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha, Hunan 410073, China.


Recently, a functional disconnectivity hypothesis of schizophrenia has been proposed for the physiological explanation of behavioral syndromes of this complex mental disorder. In this paper, we aim at further examining whether syndromes of schizophrenia could be decoded by some special spatiotemporal patterns of resting-state functional connectivity. We designed a data-driven classifier based on machine learning to extract highly discriminative functional connectivity features and to discriminate schizophrenic patients from healthy controls. The proposed classifier consisted of two separate steps. First, we used feature selection based on a correlation coefficient method to extract highly discriminative regions and construct the optimal feature set for classification. Then, an unsupervised-learning classifier combining low-dimensional embedding and self-organized clustering of fMRI was trained to discriminate schizophrenic patients from healthy controls. The performance of the classifier was tested using a leave-one-out cross-validation strategy. The experimental results demonstrated not only high classification accuracy (93.75% for schizophrenic patients, 75.0% for healthy controls), but also good generalization and stability with respect to the number of extracted features. In addition, some functional connectivities between certain brain regions of the cerebellum and frontal cortex were found to exhibit the highest discriminative power, which might provide further evidence for the cognitive dysmetria hypothesis of schizophrenia. This primary study demonstrated that machine learning could extract exciting new information from the resting-state activity of a brain with schizophrenia, which might have potential ability to improve current diagnosis and treatment evaluation of schizophrenia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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