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In NeuroImage ; h5-index 117.0

Classification of whole-brain functional connectivity MRI data with convolutional neural networks (CNNs) has shown promise, but the complexity of these models impedes understanding of which aspects of brain activity contribute to classification. While visualization techniques have been developed to interpret CNNs, bias inherent in the method of encoding abstract input data, as well as the natural variance of deep learning models, detract from the accuracy of these techniques. We introduce a stochastic encoding method in an ensemble of CNNs to classify functional connectomes by sex. We applied our method to resting-state and task data from the UK BioBank, using two visualization techniques to measure the salience of three brain networks involved in task- and resting-states, and their interaction. To regress confounding factors such as head motion, age, and intracranial volume, we introduced a multivariate balancing algorithm to ensure equal distributions of such covariates between classes in our data. We achieved a final AUROC of 0.8459. We found that resting-state data classifies more accurately than task data, with the inner salience network playing the most important role of the three networks overall in classification of resting-state data and connections to the central executive network in task data.

Leming Matthew, Suckling John