News Column

Department of Neurology Reports Findings in Neuroscience (Fast construction of voxel-level functional connectivity graphs)

August 18, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Pain & Central Nervous System Week -- Investigators publish new report on Nervous System Research. According to news reporting originating in Magdeburg, Germany, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "Graph-based analysis of fMRI data has recently emerged as a promising approach to study brain networks. Based on the assessment of synchronous fMRI activity at separate brain sites, functional connectivity graphs are constructed and analyzed using graph-theoretical concepts."

The news reporters obtained a quote from the research from the Department of Neurology, "Most previous studies investigated region-level graphs, which are computationally inexpensive, but bring along the problem of choosing sensible regions and involve blurring of more detailed information. In contrast, voxel-level graphs provide the finest granularity attainable from the data, enabling analyses at superior spatial resolution. They are, however, associated with considerable computational demands, which can render high-resolution analyses infeasible. In response, many existing studies investigating functional connectivity at the voxel-level reduced the computational burden by sacrificing spatial resolution. Here, a novel, time-efficient method for graph construction is presented that retains the original spatial resolution. Performance gains are instead achieved through data reduction in the temporal domain based on dichotomization of voxel time series combined with tetrachoric correlation estimation and efficient implementation. By comparison with graph construction based on Pearson's r, the technique used by the majority of previous studies, we find that the novel approach produces highly similar results an order of magnitude faster. Its demonstrated performance makes the proposed approach a sensible and efficient alternative to customary practice."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "An open source software package containing the created programs is freely available for download."

For more information on this research see: Fast construction of voxel-level functional connectivity graphs. Bmc Neuroscience, 2014;15():78. (BioMed Central -; Bmc Neuroscience -

Our news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained by contacting K. Loewe, Dept. of Neurology, Experimental Neurology, Otto-von-Guericke Universitat, Leipziger Str, 44, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany. Additional authors for this research include M. Grueschow, C.M. Stoppel, R. Kruse and C. Borgelt (see also Nervous System Research).

Keywords for this news article include: Europe, Germany, Magdeburg, Nervous System Research.

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Source: Pain & Central Nervous System Week

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