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Theses Doctoral

Machine Learning Methods for Fusion and Inference of Simultaneous EEG and fMRI

Tu, Tao

Simultaneous electroencephalogram (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have gained increasing popularity in studying human cognition due to their potential to map the brain dynamics with high spatial and temporal fidelity. Such detailed mapping of the brain is crucial for understanding the neural mechanisms by which humans make perceptual decisions. Despite recent advances in data acquisition and analysis of simultaneous EEG-fMRI, the lack of effective computational tools for optimal fusion of the two modalities remains a major challenge. The goal of this dissertation is to provide a recipe of machine learning methods for fusion of simultaneous EEG-fMRI data. Specifically, we investigate three types of fusion approaches and apply them to study the whole-brain spatiotemporal dynamics during a rapid object recognition task where subjects discriminate face, car, and house images under ambiguity. We first use an asymmetric fusion approach capitalizing on temporal single-trial EEG variability to identify early and late neural subsystems selective to categorical choice of faces versus nonfaces. We find that the degree of interaction in these networks accounts for a substantial fraction of our bias to see faces. Based on a computational modeling of behavioral measures, we further dissociate separate neural correlates of the face decision bias modulated by varying levels of stimulus evidence. Secondly, we develop a state-space model based symmetric fusion approach to integrate EEG and fMRI in a probabilistic generative framework. We use a variational Bayesian method to infer the network connectivity among latent neural states shared by EEG and fMRI. Finally, we use a data-driven symmetric fusion approach to compare representations of the EEG and fMRI against those of a deep convolutional neural network (CNN) in a common similarity space. We show a spatiotemporal hierarchical correspondence in visual processing stages between the human brain and the CNN. Collectively, our results show that the spatiotemporal properties of neural circuits revealed by the analysis of simultaneous EEG-fMRI data can reflect the choice behavior of subjects during rapid perceptual decision making.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Biomedical Engineering
Thesis Advisors
Sajda, Paul
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 24, 2020