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Int J Approx Reason. 2014 Jan 1;56(1 Pt 1). doi: 10.1016/j.ijar.2013.03.013.

Bayesian network models in brain functional connectivity analysis.

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Department of Science and Technology, Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Sao Jose dos Campos, SP, Brazil 12231 ; Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519.


Much effort has been made to better understand the complex integration of distinct parts of the human brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Altered functional connectivity between brain regions is associated with many neurological and mental illnesses, such as Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases, addiction, and depression. In computational science, Bayesian networks (BN) have been used in a broad range of studies to model complex data set in the presence of uncertainty and when expert prior knowledge is needed. However, little is done to explore the use of BN in connectivity analysis of fMRI data. In this paper, we present an up-to-date literature review and methodological details of connectivity analyses using BN, while highlighting caveats in a real-world application. We present a BN model of fMRI dataset obtained from sixty healthy subjects performing the stop-signal task (SST), a paradigm widely used to investigate response inhibition. Connectivity results are validated with the extant literature including our previous studies. By exploring the link strength of the learned BN's and correlating them to behavioral performance measures, this novel use of BN in connectivity analysis provides new insights to the functional neural pathways underlying response inhibition.


Bayesian networks; cognitive control; fMRI; functional connectivity; response inhibition

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