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In Nature communications ; h5-index 260.0

Recent critical commentaries unfavorably compare deep learning (DL) with standard machine learning (SML) approaches for brain imaging data analysis. However, their conclusions are often based on pre-engineered features depriving DL of its main advantage - representation learning. We conduct a large-scale systematic comparison profiled in multiple classification and regression tasks on structural MRI images and show the importance of representation learning for DL. Results show that if trained following prevalent DL practices, DL methods have the potential to scale particularly well and substantially improve compared to SML methods, while also presenting a lower asymptotic complexity in relative computational time, despite being more complex. We also demonstrate that DL embeddings span comprehensible task-specific projection spectra and that DL consistently localizes task-discriminative brain biomarkers. Our findings highlight the presence of nonlinearities in neuroimaging data that DL can exploit to generate superior task-discriminative representations for characterizing the human brain.

Abrol Anees, Fu Zening, Salman Mustafa, Silva Rogers, Du Yuhui, Plis Sergey, Calhoun Vince