Feindel Brain and Mind Seminar Series: Deep behavioral phenotyping in functional MRI for cognitive mapping of the human brain

Wednesday, March 22, 2023 16:15to17:15
Montreal Neurological Institute De Grandpre Communications Centre, 3801 rue University, Montreal, QC, H3A 2B4, CA

Register here.

Stream via vimeo here.

Ana Luisa Pinho

BrainsCAN Postdoctoral Fellow, Western University, Canada

Abstract: Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) provides means to characterize brain activations in response to behavior. However, cognitive neuroscience has been limited to group-level effects referring to the performance of specific tasks. To obtain the functional profile of elementary cognitive mechanisms, the combination of brain responses to many tasks is required, by pooling data or results from different single-task studies. Meta-analyses allow the accumulation of knowledge across studies. Yet, they are typically impacted not only by inter-subject and inter-site variability but also loss of information from sparse peak-coordinate representations. In this talk, I will address a battery of studies, which combine deep phenotyping and multitask-fMRI approaches to extensively investigate the functional signatures of the different components that characterize the human behavior. First, I will describe a set of experiments, based on temporally controlled task designs, reported in [1], [2] and [3], in which we leverage a collection of source task-fMRI data from the Individual Brain Charting (IBC) dataset. The main goal herein is to investigate the feasibility of performing individual functional brain atlasing, free from inter-subject and inter-site variability, as an effort to establish an univocal relationship between functional segregation of brain regions and elementary mental functions. Results show that individual topographies---common to all tasks---are consistently mapped within and, to a lesser extent, across participants. Besides, prediction scores associated with the reconstruction of contrasts of one task from the remaining ones reveal the quantitative contribution of each task to these common representations. Yet, scores decreased when subjects were permuted between train and test, confirming that topographies are driven by subject-specific variability. In addition, we demonstrate how cognitive mapping can benefit from contrasts accumulation, by analyzing the functional fingerprints of a set of individualized regions-of-interest from the language network. Second, I will describe our ongoing work on the quality-assessment and validation of a subset of tasks from the IBC dataset based on naturalistic stimuli using two types of encoding models: the unsupervised Fast Shared Response Model [4], and a feature-defined model based on Deep Convolutional Neural Networks [5, 6]. 

Bio: Ana Luísa Pinho graduated in Engineering Physics at Instituto Superior Técnico (University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal). During her doctoral studies at Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden), she studied the neurocognitive mechanisms implicated in musical creativity through fMRI. Afterwards, she worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at NeuroSpin (Paris, France) on dataset development and brain atlasing using neuroimaging data; she was directly involved in the Individual Brain Charting project, a collaborative ten-years consortium under the Human Brain Project flagship. She is now a BrainsCAN Postdoctoral Fellow at Western University (London ON, Canada) working on the characterization of the cortico-basal ganglia-cerebellar circuitry involved in the ability to form temporal predictions during rhythmic and non-rhythmic sequences of events. To this end, she is leveraging a cognitive-specific battery of task-fMRI data and applying atlasing techniques as means to identify functional specialization and connectivity in this cortical-subcortical network.

The Feindel Brain and Mind Seminar Series will advance the vision of Dr. William Feindel (1918–2014), Former Director of the Neuro (1972–1984), to constantly bridge the clinical and research realms. The talks will highlight the latest advances and discoveries in neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, and neuroimaging.

Speakers will include scientists from across The Neuro, as well as colleagues and collaborators locally and from around the world. The series is intended to provide a virtual forum for scientists and trainees to continue to foster interdisciplinary exchanges on the mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment of brain and cognitive disorders.



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