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Probabilistic Independent Component Analysis
for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

FMRIB Technical Report TR02CB1
(A related paper has been accepted for publication in IEEE TMI)

Christian F. Beckmann and Stephen M. Smith

Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB),
Department of Clinical Neurology, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital,
Headley Way, Headington, Oxford, UK
Corresponding author:


We present an integrated approach to Probabilistic ICA for FMRI data that allows for non-square mixing in the presence of Gaussian noise. In order to avoid overfitting, we employ objective estimation of the amount of Gaussian noise through Bayesian analysis of the true dimensionality of the data, i.e. the number of activation and non-Gaussian noise sources. This enables us to carry out probabilistic modelling and achieves an asymptotically unique decomposition of the data. It reduces problems of interpretation, as each final independent component is now much more likely to be due to only one physical or physiological process. We also describe other improvements to standard ICA, such as temporal pre-whitening and variance normalisation of timeseries, the latter being particularly useful in the context of dimensionality reduction when weak activation is present. We discuss the use of prior information about the spatiotemporal nature of the source processes, and an alternative-hypothesis testing approach for inference, using Gaussian mixture models. The performance of our approach is illustrated and evaluated on real and artificial FMRI data, and compared to the spatio-temporal accuracy of results obtained from classical ICA and GLM analyses.

Christian F. Beckmann 2003-08-05