IEEE Trans Med Imaging 2018 01 11;37(1):93-105. Epub 2017 Jul 11.
By exploiting cross-information among multiple imaging data, multimodal fusion has often been used to better understand brain diseases. However, most current fusion approaches are blind, without adopting any prior information. There is increasing interest to uncover the neurocognitive mapping of specific clinical measurements on enriched brain imaging data; hence, a supervised, goal-directed model that employs prior information as a reference to guide multimodal data fusion is much needed and becomes a natural option. Here, we proposed a fusion with reference model called "multi-site canonical correlation analysis with reference + joint-independent component analysis" (MCCAR+jICA), which can precisely identify co-varying multimodal imaging patterns closely related to the reference, such as cognitive scores. In a three-way fusion simulation, the proposed method was compared with its alternatives on multiple facets; MCCAR+jICA outperforms others with higher estimation precision and high accuracy on identifying a target component with the right correspondence. In human imaging data, working memory performance was utilized as a reference to investigate the co-varying working memory-associated brain patterns among three modalities and how they are impaired in schizophrenia. Two independent cohorts (294 and 83 subjects respectively) were used. Similar brain maps were identified between the two cohorts along with substantial overlaps in the central executive network in fMRI, salience network in sMRI, and major white matter tracts in dMRI. These regions have been linked with working memory deficits in schizophrenia in multiple reports and MCCAR+jICA further verified them in a repeatable, joint manner, demonstrating the ability of the proposed method to identify potential neuromarkers for mental disorders.