Multi-Paradigm fMRI Fusion via Sparse Tensor Decomposition in Brain Functional Connectivity Study

Yipu Zhang, Li Xiao, Gemeng Zhang, Biao Cai, Julia M. Stephen, Tony W. Wilson, Vince D. Calhoun, Yu Ping Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a powerful technique with the potential to estimate individual variations in behavioral and cognitive traits. Joint learning of multiple datasets can utilize their complementary information so as to improve learning performance, but it also gives rise to the challenge for data fusion to effectively integrate brain patterns elicited by multiple fMRI data. However, most of the current data fusion methods analyze each single dataset separately and further infer the relationship among them, which fail to utilize the multidimensional structure inherent across modalities and may ignore complex but important interactions. To address this issue, we propose a novel sparse tensor decomposition method to integrate multiple task-stimulus (paradigm) fMRI data. Seeing each paradigm fMRI as one modality, our proposed method considers the relationships across subjects and modalities simultaneously. In specific, a third-order tensor is first modeled by using the functional network connectivity (FNC) of subjects in multiple fMRI paradigms. A novel sparse tensor decomposition with the regularization terms is designed to factorize the tensor into a series of rank-one components, which can extract the shared components across modalities as the embedded features. The L{2,1}-norm regularizer (i.e., group sparsity) is enforced to select a few common features among multiple subjects. Validation of the proposed method is performed on realistic three paradigm fMRI datasets from the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort (PNC) study, for the study of the relationship between the FNC and human cognitive abilities. Experimental results show our method outperforms several other competing methods in the prediction of individuals with different cognitive behaviors via the wide range achievement test (WRAT). Furthermore, our method discovers the FNC related to the cognitive behaviors, such as the connectivity associated with the default mode network (DMN) for three paradigms, and the connectivity between DMN and visual (VIS) domains within the emotion task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9177256
Pages (from-to)1712-1723
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Brain functional connectivity
  • data fusion
  • feature extraction
  • multi-paradigm fMRI
  • tensor decomposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Health Information Management


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