Improving data-driven EEG-FMRI analyses for the study of cognitive functioning

Understanding the cognitive processes that are going on in the human brain, requires the combination of several types of observations. For this reason, since several years, neuroscience research started to focus on multimodal approaches. One such multimodal approach is the combination of electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The non-invasive character of these two modalities makes their combination not only harmless and painless, but also especially suited for widespread research in both clinical and experimental applications. Moreover, the complementarity between the high temporal resolution of the EEG and the high spatial resolution of the fMRI, allows obtaining a more complete picture of the processes under study. However, the combination of EEG and fMRI is challenging, not only on the level of the data acquisition, but also when it comes to extracting the activity of interest and interpreting the ...

Vanderperren, Katrien — KU Leuven


Learning from structured EEG and fMRI data supporting the diagnosis of epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that manifests in epileptic seizures as a result of an abnormal, synchronous activity of a large group of neurons. Depending on the affected brain regions, seizures produce various severe clinical symptoms. Epilepsy cannot be cured and in many cases is not controlled by medication either. Surgical resection of the region responsible for generating the epileptic seizures might offer remedy for these patients. Electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measure the changes of brain activity in time over different locations of the brain. As such, they provide valuable information on the nature, the timing and the spatial origin of the epileptic activity. Unfortunately, both techniques record activity of different brain and artefact sources as well. Hence, EEG and fMRI signals are characterised by low signal to noise ratio. Data quality and the vast amount ...

Hunyadi, Borbála — KU Leuven


Dynamic organization of human brain function and its relevance for psychosis vulnerability

The brain is the substrate of a complex dynamic system providing a remarkably varied range of functionalities, going from simple perception to higher-level cognition. Disturbances in its complex dynamics can cause an equally vast variety of mental disorders. One such brain disorder is schizophrenia, a neurodevelopmental disease characterized by abnormal perception of reality that manifests in symptoms like hallucinations or delusions. Even though the brain is known to be affected in schizophrenia, the exact pathophysiology underlying its developmental course is still mostly unknown. In this thesis, we develop and apply methods to look into ongoing brain function measured through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and evaluate the potential of these approaches for improving our understanding of psychosis vulnerability and schizophrenia. We focus on patients with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS), a genetic disorder that comes with a 30fold increased risk for ...

Zöller, Daniela — EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)


Domain-informed signal processing with application to analysis of human brain functional MRI data

Standard signal processing techniques are implicitly based on the assumption that the signal lies on a regular, homogeneous domain. In practice, however, many signals lie on an irregular or inhomogeneous domain. An application area where data are naturally defined on an irregular or inhomogeneous domain is human brain neuroimaging. The goal in neuroimaging is to map the structure and function of the brain using imaging techniques. In particular, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a technique that is conventionally used in non-invasive probing of human brain function. This doctoral dissertation deals with the development of signal processing schemes that adapt to the domain of the signal. It consists of four papers that in different ways deal with exploiting knowledge of the signal domain to enhance the processing of signals. In each paper, special focus is given to the analysis of ...

Behjat, Hamid — Lund University


Data-Driven Multimodal Signal Processing With Applications To EEG-fMRI Fusion

Most cognitive processes in the brain are reflected through several aspects simultaneously, allowing us to observe the same process from different biological phenomena. The diverse nature of these biological processes suggests that a better understanding of cerebral activity may be achieved through multimodal measurements. One of the possible multimodal brain recording settings is the combination of electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which is one of the main topics of this thesis. Two groups of EEG-fMRI integration approaches are possible. The first group, commonly called model-based techniques, are very popular due to the fact that the results from such analyses confirm or disprove a specific hypothesis. However, such hypotheses are not always available, requiring a more explorative approach to analyze the data. This exploration is possible with the second group of approaches, the so-called data-driven methods. The data-driven ...

Mijović, Bogdan — KU Leuven


Functional Neuroimaging Data Characterisation Via Tensor Representations

The growing interest in neuroimaging technologies generates a massive amount of biomedical data that exhibit high dimensionality. Tensor-based analysis of brain imaging data has by now been recognized as an effective approach exploiting its inherent multi-way nature. In particular, the advantages of tensorial over matrix-based methods have previously been demonstrated in the context of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) source localization; the identification of the regions of the brain which are activated at specific time instances. However, such methods can also become ineffective in realistic challenging scenarios, involving, e.g., strong noise and/or significant overlap among the activated regions. Moreover, they commonly rely on the assumption of an underlying multilinear model generating the data. In the first part of this thesis, we aimed at investigating the possible gains from exploiting the 3-dimensional nature of the brain images, through a higher-order tensorization ...

Christos Chatzichristos — National and Kapodistrian University of Athens


Unsupervised and semi-supervised Non-negative Matrix Factorization methods for brain tumor segmentation using multi-parametric MRI data

Gliomas represent about 80% of all malignant primary brain tumors. Despite recent advancements in glioma research, patient outcome remains poor. The 5 year survival rate of the most common and most malignant subtype, i.e. glioblastoma, is about 5%. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become the imaging modality of choice in the management of brain tumor patients. Conventional MRI (cMRI) provides excellent soft tissue contrast without exposing the patient to potentially harmful ionizing radiation. Over the past decade, advanced MRI modalities, such as perfusion-weighted imaging (PWI), diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) have gained interest in the clinical field, and their added value regarding brain tumor diagnosis, treatment planning and follow-up has been recognized. Tumor segmentation involves the imaging-based delineation of a tumor and its subcompartments. In gliomas, segmentation plays an important role in treatment planning as well ...

Sauwen, Nicolas — KU Leuven


Signal processing and classification for magnetic resonance spectroscopic data with clinical applications

Over the last decades, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has taken a leading role in the study of human body and it is widely used in clinical diagnosis. In vivo and ex vivo Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic (MRS) techniques can additionally provide valuable metabolic information as compared to MRI and are gaining more clinical interest. The analysis of MRS data is a complex procedure and requires several preprocessing steps aiming to improve the quality of the data and to extract the most relevant features before any classification algorithm can be successfully applied. In this thesis a new approach to quantify magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) data and therefore to obtain improved metabolite estimates is proposed. Then an important part is focusing on improving the diagnosis of glial brain tumors which are characterized by an extensive heterogeneity since various intramural histopathological properties such ...

Croitor Sava, Anca Ramona — KU Leuven


Localisation of Brain Functions: Stimuling Brain Activity and Source Reconstruction for Classification

A key issue in understanding how the brain functions is the ability to correlate functional information with anatomical localisation. Functional information can be provided by a variety of techniques like positron emission tomography (PET), functional MRI (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG) or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). All these methods provide different, but complementary, information about the functional areas of the brain. PET and fMRI provide spatially accurate picture of brain regions involved in a given task. TMS permits to infer the contribution of the stimulated brain area to the task under investigation. EEG and MEG, which reflects brain activity directly, have temporal accuracy of the order of a millisecond. TMS, EEG and MEG are offset by their low spatial resolution. In this thesis, we propose two methods to improve the spatial accuracy of method based on TMS and EEG. The ...

Noirhomme, Quentin — Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Mixed structural models for 3D audio in virtual environments

In the world of Information and communications technology (ICT), strategies for innovation and development are increasingly focusing on applications that require spatial representation and real-time interaction with and within 3D-media environments. One of the major challenges that such applications have to address is user-centricity, reflecting e.g. on developing complexity-hiding services so that people can personalize their own delivery of services. In these terms, multimodal interfaces represent a key factor for enabling an inclusive use of new technologies by everyone. In order to achieve this, multimodal realistic models that describe our environment are needed, and in particular models that accurately describe the acoustics of the environment and communication through the auditory modality are required. Examples of currently active research directions and application areas include 3DTV and future internet, 3D visual-sound scene coding, transmission and reconstruction and teleconferencing systems, to name but ...

Geronazzo, Michele — University of Padova


Dynamics of Brain Function in Preterm-Born Young Adolescents

Preterm birth is a major risk factor for neurodevelopment impairments often only appearing later in life. The brain is still at a high rate of development during adolescence, making this a promising window for intervention. It is thus crucial to understand the mechanisms of altered brain function in this population. The aim of this thesis is to investigate how the brain dynamically reconfigures its own organisation over time in preterm-born young adolescents. Research to date has mainly focused on structural disturbances or in static features of brain function in this population. However, recent studies have shown that brain activity is highly dynamic, both spontaneously and during performance of a task, and that small disruptions in its complex architecture may interfere with normal behaviour and cognitive abilities. This thesis explores the dynamic nature of brain function in preterm-born adolescents in three ...

Freitas, Lorena G. A. — École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne


Classification of brain tumors based on magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Nowadays, diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors is based on clinical symptoms, radiological appearance, and often histopathology. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a major noninvasive tool for the anatomical assessment of tumors in the brain. However, several diagnostic questions, such as the type and grade of the tumor, are difficult to address using MRI. The histopathology of a tissue specimen remains the gold standard, despite the associated risks of surgery to obtain a biopsy. In recent years, the use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), which provides a metabolic profile, has gained a lot of interest for a more detailed and specific noninvasive evaluation of brain tumors. In particular, magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) is attractive as this may also enable to visualize the heterogeneous spatial extent of tumors, both inside and outside the MRI detectable lesion. As manual, individual, viewing ...

Luts, Jan — Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Advanced signal processing for magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Assertive diagnosis of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and other metabolic diseases is essential to provide patients with the adequate treatment. Recently, different invasive and non-invasive techniques have been developed for this purpose, nevertheless, due to their harmless properties the non-invasive techniques have gained more value. Magnetic Resonance is a well-known non-invasive technique that provides spectra (metabolite peaks) and images (anatomical structures) of the examined tissue. In Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS), molecules containing certain excitable nuclei, such as 1H, provide the metabolite information. As a consequence, the peaks in the MR spectra correspond to observable metabolites which are the biomarkers of diseases. Finally, metabolite concentrations are computed and compared against normal values in order to establish the diagnosis. The method to obtain such amplitudes is also called quantification and its accuracy is essential for diagnosis assessment. Quantification of MRS signals is ...

Osorio Garcia, Maria Isabel — KU Leuven


Unsupervised Models for White Matter Fiber-Bundles Analysis in Multiple Sclerosis

Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging (dMRI) is a meaningful technique for white matter (WM) fiber-tracking and microstructural characterization of axonal/neuronal integrity and connectivity. By measuring water molecules motion in the three directions of space, numerous parametric maps can be reconstructed. Among these, fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), and axial (λa) and radial (λr) diffusivities have extensively been used to investigate brain diseases. Overall, these findings demonstrated that WM and grey matter (GM) tissues are subjected to numerous microstructural alterations in multiple sclerosis (MS). However, it remains unclear whether these tissue alterations result from global processes, such as inflammatory cascades and/or neurodegenerative mechanisms, or local inflammatory and/or demyelinating lesions. Furthermore, these pathological events may occur along afferent or afferent WM fiber pathways, leading to antero- or retrograde degeneration. Thus, for a better understanding of MS pathological processes like its spatial and ...

Stamile, Claudio — Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, KU Leuven


Towards an Automated Portable Electroencephalography-based System for Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosis

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative terminal disorder that accounts for nearly 70% of dementia cases worldwide. Global dementia incidence is projected to 75 million cases by 2030, with the majority of the affected individuals coming from low- and medium- income countries. Although there is no cure for AD, early diagnosis can improve the quality of life of AD patients and their caregivers. Currently, AD diagnosis is carried out using mental status examinations, expensive neuroimaging scans, and invasive laboratory tests, all of which render the diagnosis time-consuming and costly. Notwithstanding, over the last decade electroencephalography (EEG), specifically resting-state EEG (rsEEG), has emerged as an alternative technique for AD diagnosis with accuracies inline with those obtained with more expensive neuroimaging tools, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET). However the use of rsEEG for ...

Cassani, Raymundo — Université du Québec, Institut national de la recherche scientifique

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