Independent component analysis is commonly applied to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to extract independent components (ICs) representing functional brain networks. While ICA produces reliable group-level estimates, single-subject ICA often produces noisy results. Template ICA is a hierarchical ICA model using empirical population priors to produce more reliable subject-level estimates. However, this and other hierarchical ICA models assume unrealistically that subject effects are spatially independent. Here, we propose spatial template ICA (stICA), which incorporates spatial priors into the template ICA framework for greater estimation efficiency. Additionally, the joint posterior distribution can be used to identify brain regions engaged in each network using an excursions set approach. By leveraging spatial dependencies and avoiding massive multiple comparisons, stICA has high power to detect true effects. We derive an efficient expectation-maximization algorithm to obtain maximum likelihood estimates of the model parameters and posterior moments of the latent fields. Based on analysis of simulated data and fMRI data from the Human Connectome Project, we find that stICA produces estimates that are more accurate and reliable than benchmark approaches, and identifies larger and more reliable areas of engagement. The algorithm is computationally tractable, achieving convergence within 12 hours for whole-cortex fMRI analysis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics
- Statistics and Probability
- Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty