DIRS Laboratory 76-3215
June 2, 2018 at 2:00am
Chao Zhang
Ph.D. Thesis Defense



Functional connectome of the human brain explores the temporal associations of different brain regions. Functional connectivity (FC) measures derived from resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rfMRI) characterize the brain network at rest and studies have shown that rfMRI FC is closely related to individual subject’s biological and behavioral measures. In this thesis we investigate a large rfMRI dataset from the Human Connectome Project (HCP) and utilize statistical methods to facilitate the understanding of fundamental FC–behavior associations of the human brain. Our studies include reliability analysis of FC statistics, demonstration of FC spatial patterns, and predictive analysis of individual biological and behavioral measures using FC features. Covering both static and dynamic FC (sFC and dFC) characterizations, the baseline FC patterns in healthy young adults are illustrated. Predictive analyses demonstrate that individual biological and behavioral measures, such as gender, age, fluid intelligence and language scores, can be predicted using FC. While dFC by itself performs worse than sFC in prediction accuracy, if appropriate parameters and models are utilized, adding dFC features to sFC can significantly increase the predictive power. Results of this thesis contribute to the understanding of the neural underpinnings of individual biological and behavioral differences in the human brain.