High-dimensional ordinary differential equation models for connectivity studies

Wu, Jingwei, Statistics - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Zhang, Tingting, Department of Statistics, University of Virginia

We introduce a dynamic directional model (DDM) for studying brain effective connectivity based on intracranial electrocorticographic (ECoG) time series. The DDM consists of two parts: a set of differential equations describing neuronal activity of brain components (state equations), and observation equations linking the underlying neuronal states to observed data. The combined high temporal and spatial resolution of ECoG data result in a much simpler DDM, allowing investigation of complex connections between many regions. To identify functionally-segregated subnetworks, a form of biologically economical brain networks, we propose the Potts model for the DDM parameters. The neuronal states of brain components are represented by cubic spline bases and the parameters are estimated by minimizing a log-likelihood criterion that combines the state and observation equations. The Potts model is converted to the Potts penalty in the penalized regression approach to achieve sparsity in parameter estimation, for which a fast iterative algorithm is developed. An L1 penalty is also considered for comparison. The methods are applied to an auditory ECoG data set and extensive simulation studies.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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