Biomedical Signal and Image Computing Laboratory

fMRI Connectivity Analysis


Bernard Ng (Grad Student)
BiSICL, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, UBC

Rafeef Abugharbieh (Principal Investigator)
BiSICL, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, UBC

Martin McKeown (Collaborator)
Department of Medicine, UBC


fMRI, functional connectivity, group Analysis, correspondence


In addition to inferring brain activation, fMRI is often used to study the functional integration of different brain regions. The apparent inter-subject variability, however, renders detection of representative group networks very challenging. Therefore, we are currently designing novel approaches based on sparse multivariate models that integrate group information in detecting common brain networks across subjects. We are also investigating the implications of inferring functional connectivity based on spatial modulations of blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signals in contrast to traditional mean region of interest (ROI) intensity time courses.

Sparse functional networks detected using group replicator dynamics. Networks detected in PD off medication were similar to those detected in healthy subjects during the fast frequency, demonstrating the effects of brain deficits in PD patients. Upon medication, the network appeared to have normalized back to that of the healthy subjects during slow frequency, but not at medium and fast.

Selected Publications

  • B. Ng, R. Abugharbieh, and M.J. McKeown, “Discovering Sparse Functional Brain Networks Using Group Replicator Dynamics (GRD),” in Proc. Inf. Process. Med. Imaging, vol. 5636, pp. 76-87, 2009 [PDF].
  • B. Ng, R. Abugharbieh, and M.J. McKeown, “Inferring Functional Connectivity Using Spatial Modulation Measures of fMRI Signals within Brain Regions of Interest,” in Proc. Int. Symposium Biomed. Imaging, pp. 572-575, 2008 [PDF].

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