Document Type : Full Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Student, Bioelectric Department, Biomedical Engineering Faculty, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Bioelectric Department, Biomedical Engineering Faculty, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran


Brain as the most complex organ in the human body has been investigated from various aspects. The greatest origin of this complexity is due to the fact that, despite the fixed architecture of brain structure (physical connections), the functional connectivity is in a constantly changing state, resulting to different behaviors. In many mental diseases, both brain structural and functional connectivities and their relationship are changed and cause different symptoms. Investigation of brain connectivity variations in the disease may help to better understanding of the relationship between brain structure and function. One of the most severe and debilitating brain disorders is Schizophrenia in which both brain structure and function are involved. Among all available methods, multimodal analysis of data has been recently gained great interest to provide the capability of extracting association between separate neuroimaging data. However, due to their voxel based viewpoint, relationship between brain connectivities cannot be inferred. In this study, the joint independent component analysis (jICA) has been proposed to investigate the relationship between brain functional and structural connectivity. We applied the suggested approach to combine functional and structural connectivity, in order to assess abnormalities underlying schizophrenic patients relative to healthy people. The findings suggest that the correspondence between brain function and structure is not necessarily one-to-one. The results also indicated that variations in several structural fibers, such as superior longitudinal fasciculus and inferior longitudinal fasciculus, are associated with functional changes in the temporal and frontal lobes. Besides, analyzing the nodal strength and shortest path length in the obtained subnetworks demonstrates that the functional subnetworks efficiency in parallel information transfer in schizophrenic patients is reduced. Overall, the outcomes point out the capability of the proposed method to better understanding of brain functional and structural connectivity association and its variations in brain disorders. 


Main Subjects

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