Statistical Parametric Mapping of fMRI data using Spectral Graph Wavelets
Abstract: In typical statistical parametric mapping (SPM) of fMRI data, the functional data are pre-smoothed using a Gaussian kernel to reduce noise at the cost of losing spatial specificity. Wavelet approaches have been incorporated in such analysis by enabling an efficient representation of the underlying brain activity through spatial transformation of the original, un-smoothed data; a successful framework is the wavelet-based statistical parametric mapping (WSPM) which enables integrated wavelet processing and spatial statistical testing. However, in using the conventional wavelets, the functional data are considered to lie on a regular Euclidean space, which is far from reality, since the underlying signal lies within the complex, non rectangular domain of the cerebral cortex. Thus, using wavelets that function on more complex domains such as a graph holds promise. The aim of the current project has been to integrate a recently developed spectral graph wavelet transform as an advanced transformation for fMRI brain data into the WSPM framework. We introduce the design of suitable weighted and un-weighted graphs which are defined based on the convoluted structure of the cerebral cortex. An optimal design of spatially localized spectral graph wavelet frames suitable for the designed large scale graphs is introduced. We have evaluated the proposed graph approach for fMRI analysis on both simulated as well as real data. The results show a superior performance in detecting fine structured, spatially localized activation maps compared to the use of conventional wavelets, as well as normal SPM. The approach is implemented in an SPM compatible manner, and is included as an extension to the WSPM toolbox for SPM.
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