Abigail Greene, Yale School of Medicine, Magnetic Resonance research Center

Thursday, July 9, 2020 - 12:30pm

Task-induced brain state manipulations reveal brain-phenotype relationships

Abstract: Recent work has begun to relate individual differences in brain functional organization to human behaviors and cognition. One particularly promising set of methods to reveal such brain-phenotype relationships uses functional connectivity, derived from fMRI data, to predict a given phenotypic measure. While the default approach to such analyses uses resting-state fMRI data to calculate functional connectivity, the best brain state for prediction remains an open question that, if answered, will facilitate the use of prediction to reveal the macroscale neural bases of a range of behaviors, traits, and clinical symptoms. In this talk, I will discuss our recent work in this domain, beginning with our finding that, across two large, independent data sets, in-scanner tasks amplify trait-relevant individual differences in patterns of functional connectivity, such that predictive models built from task fMRI data outperform models built from resting-state fMRI data. Combining functional connectomes derived from multiple in-scanner tasks further improves prediction performance, suggesting that tasks induce distinct and complementary changes in functional connectivity patterns. I will present results from our follow-up work, which explores how tasks have this effect, finding, via psychophysiological interaction and predictive modeling analyses, that improved prediction performance is largely driven by connectivity changes, not focal task activation. To further interrogate this effect, we developed and applied a new approach, inter-subject psychophysiological interaction analysis, which revealed that, across the brain, task-induced changes in functional connectivity patterns are most useful for prediction when they are moderately—but not too—consistent across individuals. Results suggest that in-scanner tasks reveal brain-phenotype relationships by de-noising functional connectivity patterns, amplifying meaningful individual differences in brain functional organization. I will close by discussing our most recent and ongoing work, which applies these insights to a new dataset to reveal the transdiagnostic functional connectivity patterns underlying a range of dimensional cognitive constructs.

To access this Zoom event, on Thursday, July 9th at 12:30pm, please go to https://yale.zoom.us/my/haskins