Group-level comparison of brain connectivity networks

Fatemeh Pourmotahari, Hassan Doosti, Nasrin Boroumandnia, Seyyed Mohammad Tabatabaei, Hamid Alavi Majd*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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    Background: Functional connectivity (FC) studies are often performed to discern different patterns of brain connectivity networks between healthy and patient groups. Since many neuropsychiatric disorders are related to the change in these patterns, accurate modelling of FC data can provide useful information about disease pathologies. However, analysing functional connectivity data faces several challenges, including the correlations of the connectivity edges associated with network topological characteristics, the large number of parameters in the covariance matrix, and taking into account the heterogeneity across subjects.

    Methods: This study provides a new statistical approach to compare the FC networks between subgroups that consider the network topological structure of brain regions and subject heterogeneity.

    Results: The power based on the heterogeneity structure of identity scaled in a sample size of 25 exhibited values greater than 0.90 without influencing the degree of correlation, heterogeneity, and the number of regions. This index had values above 0.80 in the small sample size and high correlation. In most scenarios, the type I error was close to 0.05. Moreover, the application of this model on real data related to autism was also investigated, which indicated no significant difference in FC networks between healthy and patient individuals.

    Conclusions: The results from simulation data indicated that the proposed model has high power and near-nominal type I error rates in most scenarios.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number273
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    Number of pages12
    JournalBMC Medical Research Methodology
    Issue number1
    Early online date17 Oct 2022
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

    Bibliographical note

    © The Author(s) 2022. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • Connectivity
    • Subject heterogeneity
    • fMRI
    • Statistical power
    • Type I error rate


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