Sparse Representation-Based Denoising for High-Resolution Brain Activation and Functional Connectivity Modeling: A Task fMRI Study.
In the field of neuroimaging and cognitive neuroscience, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) has been widely used to study the functional localization and connectivity of the brain. However, the inherently low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the fMRI signals greatly limits the accuracy and resolution of current studies. In addressing this fundamental challenge in fMRI analytics, in this work we develop and implement a denoising method for task fMRI (tfMRI) data in order to delineate the high-resolution spatial pattern of the brain activation and functional connectivity via dictionary learning and sparse coding (DLSC). In addition to the traditional unsupervised dictionary learning model which has shown success in image denoising, we further utilize the prior knowledge of task paradigm to learn a dictionary consisting of both data-driven and model-driven terms for a more stable sparse representation of the data. The proposed method is applied to preprocess the motor tfMRI dataset from Human Connectome Project (HCP) for the purpose of brain activation detection and functional connectivity estimation. Comparison between the results from original and denoised fMRI data shows that the disruptive brain activation and functional connectivity patterns can be recovered, and the prominence of such patterns is improved through denoising. The proposed method is then compared with the temporal non-local means (tNLM)-based denoising method and shows consistently superior performance in various experimental settings. The promising results show that the proposed DLSC-based fMRI denoising method can effectively reduce the noise level of the fMRI signals and increase the interpretability of the inferred results, therefore constituting a crucial part of the preprocessing pipeline and provide the foundation for further high-resolution functional analysis.
Jeong, S; Li, X; Yang, J; Li, Q; Tarokh, V
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