Refined measure of functional connectomes for improved identifiability and prediction

Biao Cai, Gemeng Zhang, Wenxing Hu, Aiying Zhang, Pascal Zille, Yipu Zhang, Julia M. Stephen, Tony W. Wilson, Vince D. Calhoun, Yu Ping Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Brain functional connectome analysis is commonly based on population-wise inference. However, in this way precious information provided at the individual subject level may be overlooked. Recently, several studies have shown that individual differences contribute strongly to the functional connectivity patterns. In particular, functional connectomes have been proven to offer a fingerprint measure, which can reliably identify a given individual from a pool of participants. In this work, we propose to refine the standard measure of individual functional connectomes using dictionary learning. More specifically, we rely on the assumption that each functional connectivity is dominated by stable group and individual factors. By subtracting population-wise contributions from connectivity patterns facilitated by dictionary representation, intersubject variability should be increased within the group. We validate our approach using several types of analyses. For example, we observe that refined connectivity profiles significantly increase subject-specific identifiability across functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) session combinations. Besides, refined connectomes can also improve the prediction power for cognitive behaviors. In accordance with results from the literature, we find that individual distinctiveness is closely linked with differences in neurocognitive activity within the brain. In summary, our results indicate that individual connectivity analysis benefits from the group-wise inferences and refined connectomes are indeed desirable for brain mapping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4843-4858
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number16
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • cognitive behavior prediction
  • functional connectivity
  • individual identification
  • refined connectomes
  • sparse dictionary learning model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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