Correspondence between fMRI and SNP data by group sparse canonical correlation analysis

Dongdong Lin, Vince D. Calhoun, Yu Ping Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Both genetic variants and brain region abnormalities are recognized as important factors for complex diseases (e.g., schizophrenia). In this paper, we investigated the correspondence between single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and brain activity measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to understand how genetic variation influences the brain activity. A group sparse canonical correlation analysis method (group sparse CCA) was developed to explore the correlation between these two datasets which are high dimensional-the number of SNPs/voxels is far greater than the number of samples. Different from the existing sparse CCA methods (sCCA), our approach can exploit structural information in the correlation analysis by introducing group constraints. A simulation study demonstrates that it outperforms the existing sCCA. We applied this method to the real data analysis and identified two pairs of significant canonical variates with average correlations of 0.4527 and 0.4292 respectively, which were used to identify genes and voxels associated with schizophrenia. The selected genes are mostly from 5 schizophrenia (SZ)-related signalling pathways. The brain mappings of the selected voxles also indicate the abnormal brain regions susceptible to schizophrenia. A gene and brain region of interest (ROI) correlation analysis was further performed to confirm the significant correlations between genes and ROIs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-902
Number of pages12
JournalMedical image analysis
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • FMRI
  • Feature selection
  • Group sparse CCA
  • Imaging genetics
  • SNP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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