Sparse principal component based high-dimensional mediation analysis

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6 Scopus citations


Causal mediation analysis aims to quantify the intermediate effect of a mediator on the causal pathway from treatment to outcome. When dealing with multiple mediators, which are potentially causally dependent, the possible decomposition of pathway effects grows exponentially with the number of mediators. An existing approach incorporated the principal component analysis (PCA) to address this challenge based on the fact that the transformed mediators are conditionally independent given the orthogonality of the principal components (PCs). However, the transformed mediator PCs, which are linear combinations of original mediators, can be difficult to interpret. A sparse high-dimensional mediation analysis approach is proposed which adopts the sparse PCA method to the mediation setting. The proposed approach is applied to a task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging study, illustrating its ability to detect biologically meaningful results related to an identified mediator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106835
JournalComputational Statistics and Data Analysis
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Mediation analysis
  • Regularized regression
  • Structural equation model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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