Joint Spectral Decomposition for the Parcellation of the Human Cerebral Cortex Using Resting-State fMRI
Identification of functional connections within the human brain has gained a lot of attention due to its potential to reveal neural mechanisms. In a whole-brain connectivity analysis, a critical stage is the computation of a set of network nodes that can effectively represent cortical regions. To address this problem, we present a robust cerebral cortex parcellation method based on spectral graph theory and resting-state fMRI correlations that generates reliable parcellations at the single-subject level and across multiple subjects. Our method models the cortical surface in each hemisphere as a mesh graph represented in the spectral domain with its eigenvectors. We connect cortices of different subjects with each other based on the similarity of their connectivity profiles and construct a multi-layer graph, which effectively captures the fundamental properties of the whole group as well as preserves individual subject characteristics. Spectral decomposition of this joint graph is used to cluster each cortical vertex into a subregion in order to obtain whole-brain parcellations. Using rs-fMRI data collected from 40 healthy subjects, we show that our proposed algorithm computes highly reproducible parcellations across different groups of subjects and at varying levels of detail with an average Dice score of 0.78, achieving up to 9\(\%\) better reproducibility compared to existing approaches. We also report that our group-wise parcellations are functionally more consistent, thus, can be reliably used to represent the population in network analyses.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013) / ERC Grant Agreement no. 319456. Data were provided by the Human Connectome Project, WU-Minn Consortium (Principal Investigators: David Van Essen and Kamil Ugurbil; 1U54MH091657).
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