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In Social neuroscience

Poor social functioning is an emerging public health problem associated with physical and mental health consequences. Developing prognostic tools is critical to identify individuals at risk for poor social functioning and guide interventions. We aimed to inform prediction models of social functioning by evaluating models relying on bio-behavioral data using machine learning. With data from the Human Connectome Project Healthy Young Adult sample (age 22-35, N=1,101), we built Support Vector Regression models to estimate social functioning from variable sets of brain morphology to behavior with increasing complexity: 1) brain-only model, 2) brain-cognition model, 3) cognition-behavioral model, and 4) combined brain-cognition-behavioral model. Predictive accuracy of each model was assessed and the importance of individual variables for model performance was determined. The combined and cognition-behavioral models significantly predicted social functioning, whereas the brain-only and brain-cognition models did not. Negative affect, psychological wellbeing, extraversion, withdrawal, and cortical thickness of the rostral middle-frontal and superior-temporal regions were the most important predictors in the combined model. Results demonstrate that social functioning can be accurately predicted using machine learning methods. Behavioral markers may be more significant predictors of social functioning than brain measures for healthy young adults and may represent important leverage points for preventive intervention.

Miley Kathleen, Michalowski Martin, Yu Fang, Leng Ethan, McMorris Barbara J, Vinogradov Sophia


Artificial intelligence, Functional outcome, Human Connectome Project, Multivariate pattern analysis, Neuroimaging biomakers, Support vector regression