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      Functional connectome fingerprinting: Identifying individuals based on patterns of brain connectivity

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          While fMRI studies typically collapse data from many subjects, brain functional organization varies between individuals. Here, we establish that this individual variability is both robust and reliable, using data from the Human Connectome Project to demonstrate that functional connectivity profiles act as a “fingerprint” that can accurately identify subjects from a large group. Identification was successful across scan sessions and even between task and rest conditions, indicating that an individual’s connectivity profile is intrinsic, and can be used to distinguish that individual regardless of how the brain is engaged during imaging. Characteristic connectivity patterns were distributed throughout the brain, but notably, the frontoparietal network emerged as most distinctive. Furthermore, we show that connectivity profiles predict levels of fluid intelligence; the same networks that were most discriminating of individuals were also most predictive of cognitive behavior. Results indicate the potential to draw inferences about single subjects based on functional connectivity fMRI.

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          Most cited references 45

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          A whole brain fMRI atlas generated via spatially constrained spectral clustering.

          Connectivity analyses and computational modeling of human brain function from fMRI data frequently require the specification of regions of interests (ROIs). Several analyses have relied on atlases derived from anatomical or cyto-architectonic boundaries to specify these ROIs, yet the suitability of atlases for resting state functional connectivity (FC) studies has yet to be established. This article introduces a data-driven method for generating an ROI atlas by parcellating whole brain resting-state fMRI data into spatially coherent regions of homogeneous FC. Several clustering statistics are used to compare methodological trade-offs as well as determine an adequate number of clusters. Additionally, we evaluate the suitability of the parcellation atlas against four ROI atlases (Talairach and Tournoux, Harvard-Oxford, Eickoff-Zilles, and Automatic Anatomical Labeling) and a random parcellation approach. The evaluated anatomical atlases exhibit poor ROI homogeneity and do not accurately reproduce FC patterns present at the voxel scale. In general, the proposed functional and random parcellations perform equivalently for most of the metrics evaluated. ROI size and hence the number of ROIs in a parcellation had the greatest impact on their suitability for FC analysis. With 200 or fewer ROIs, the resulting parcellations consist of ROIs with anatomic homology, and thus offer increased interpretability. Parcellation results containing higher numbers of ROIs (600 or 1,000) most accurately represent FC patterns present at the voxel scale and are preferable when interpretability can be sacrificed for accuracy. The resulting atlases and clustering software have been made publicly available at: http://www.nitrc.org/projects/cluster_roi/. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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            Automatically Parcellating the Human Cerebral Cortex

             B Fischl (2004)
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              Multi-task connectivity reveals flexible hubs for adaptive task control

              Extensive evidence suggests the human ability to adaptively implement a wide variety of tasks is preferentially due to the operation of a fronto-parietal brain network. We hypothesized that this network’s adaptability is made possible by ‘flexible hubs’ – brain regions that rapidly update their pattern of global functional connectivity according to task demands. We utilized recent advances in characterizing brain network organization and dynamics to identify mechanisms consistent with the flexible hub theory. We found that the fronto-parietal network’s brain-wide functional connectivity pattern shifted more than other networks’ across a variety of task states, and that these connectivity patterns could be used to identify the current task. Further, these patterns were consistent across practiced and novel tasks, suggesting reuse of flexible hub connectivity patterns facilitates adaptive (novel) task performance. Together, these findings support a central role for fronto-parietal flexible hubs in cognitive control and adaptive implementation of task demands generally.

                Author and article information

                Nat Neurosci
                Nat. Neurosci.
                Nature neuroscience
                17 October 2015
                12 October 2015
                November 2015
                01 September 2016
                : 18
                : 11
                : 1664-1671
                [1 ]Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Yale University, New Haven, CT USA
                [2 ]Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT USA
                [3 ]Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, CT USA
                [4 ]Department of Neurobiology, Yale University, New Haven, CT USA
                [5 ]Department of Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT USA
                [6 ]Department of Neurosurgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT USA
                Author notes
                Address correspondence to: Emily S. Finn ( emily.finn@ 123456yale.edu )

                These authors contributed equally to this work.


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