School of Medicine Publications and Presentations

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging provides unprecedented images of the brain. Unfortunately, scanners and acquisition protocols can significantly impact MRI scans. The development of statistical methods able to reduce this variability without altering the relevant information in the scans, often coined harmonization methods, has been the topic of an increasing research effort supported by the recent growth of publicly available neuroimaging data sets and new possibilities for combining them to achieve greater statistical power. In this work, we focus on the challenges specifically raised by the harmonization of resting-state functional MRI scans. We propose to harmonize resting-state fMRI scans by reducing the impact of covariates such as scanner differences and scanning protocols on their associated functional connectomes and then propagating the changes back to the rs-fMRI time series. We use Riemannian geometric frameworks to preserve the mathematical properties of functional connectomes during their harmonization, and we demonstrate how state-of-the-art harmonization methods can be embedded within these frameworks to reduce covariates effects while preserving the relevant clinical information associated with aging or brain disorders. During our experiments, a large set of synthetic data was generated and processed to compare eighty variants of the proposed approach. The framework achieving the best harmonization was then applied to three low-dimensional data sets made of 712 sets of fMRI time series provided by the ABIDE consortium and two high-dimensional data sets obtained by processing 1527 rs-fMRI scans provided by the Human Connectome Project, the Framingham Heart Study and the Genetics of Brain Structure and Function study. These experiments established that our new framework could successfully harmonize low-dimensional connectomes and voxelwise functional time series and confirmed the need for preserving connectomes properties during their harmonization.


Under a Creative Commons license

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Title

Medical Image Analysis



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Mentor/PI Department

Office of Human Genetics



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