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In Clinical neurophysiology : official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology

OBJECTIVE : To classify children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typical development (TD) using short-term spontaneous hemodynamic fluctuations and to explore the abnormality of inferior frontal gyrus and temporal lobe in ASD.

METHODS : 25 ASD children and 22 TD children were measured with functional near-infrared spectroscopy located on the inferior frontal gyrus and temporal lobe. To extract features used to classify ASD and TD, a multi-layer neural network was applied, combining with a three-layer convolutional neural network, a layer of long and short-term memory network (LSTM) and a layer of LSTM with Attention mechanism. In order to shorten the time of data collection and get more information from limited samples, a sliding window with 3.5 s width was utilized after comparisons, and numerous short (3.5 s) fNIRS time series were then obtained and used as the input of the multi-layer neural network.

RESULTS : A good classification between ASD and TD was obtained with considerably high accuracy by using a multi-layer neural network in different brain regions, especially in the left temporal lobe, where sensitivity of 90.6% and specificity of 97.5% achieved.

CONCLUSIONS : The "CLAttention" multi-layer neural network has the potential to excavate more meaningful features to distinguish between ASD and TD. Moreover, the temporal lobe may be worth further study.

SIGNIFICANCE : The findings in this study may have implications for rapid diagnosis of children with ASD and provide a new perspective for future medical diagnosis.

Xu Lingyu, Sun Zhiyong, Xie Jiang, Yu Jie, Li Jun, Wang JinHong

2020-Dec-30

ASD, Classification, Deep learning, Time series, fNIRS