A relatively recent advance in cognitive neuroscience has been multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA), which enables researchers to decode brain states and/or the type of information represented in the brain during a cognitive operation. MVPA methods utilize machine learning algorithms to distinguish among types of information or cognitive states represented in the brain, based on distributed patterns of neural activity. In the current investigation, we propose a new approach for representation of neural data for pattern analysis, namely a Mesh Learning Model. In this approach, at each time instant, a star mesh is formed around each voxel, such that the voxel corresponding to the center node is surrounded by its p-nearest neighbors. The arc weights of each mesh are estimated from the voxel intensity values by least squares method. The estimated arc weights of all the meshes, called Mesh Arc Descriptors (MADs), are then used to train a classifier, such as Neural Networks, k-Nearest Neighbor, Na\"ive Bayes and Support Vector Machines. The proposed Mesh Model was tested on neuroimaging data acquired via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a recognition memory experiment using categorized word lists, employing a previously established experimental paradigm (\"Oztekin & Badre, 2011). Results suggest that the proposed Mesh Learning approach can provide an effective algorithm for pattern analysis of brain activity during cognitive processing.
Digitally reconstructing 3D geometry from images is a core problem in computer vision. There are various applications, such as movie productions, content generation for video games, virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing and many more. The task discussed in this blog post is reconstructing high quality 3D geometry from a single color image of an object as shown in the figure below. Humans have the ability to effortlessly reason about the shapes of objects and scenes even if we only see a single image. Note that the binocular arrangement of our eyes allows us to perceive depth, but it is not required to understand 3D geometry.
Researchers in functional neuroimaging mostly use activation coordinates to formulate their hypotheses. Instead, we propose to use the full statistical images to define regions of interest (ROIs). This paper presents two machine learning approaches, transfer learning and selection transfer, that are compared upon their ability to identify the common patterns between brain activation maps related to two functional tasks. We provide some preliminary quantification of these similarities, and show that selection transfer makes it possible to set a spatial scale yielding ROIs that are more specific to the context of interest than with transfer learning. In particular, selection transfer outlines well known regions such as the Visual Word Form Area when discriminating between different visual tasks.
By adding a spatial regularization kernel to a standard loss function formulation of the boosting problem, we develop a framework for spatially informed boosting. From this regularized loss framework we derive an efficient boosting algorithm that uses additional weights/priors on the base classifiers. We prove that the proposed algorithm exhibits a ``grouping effect, which encourages the selection of all spatially local, discriminative base classifiers. The algorithms primary advantage is in applications where the trained classifier is used to identify the spatial pattern of discriminative information, e.g. the voxel selection problem in fMRI. We demonstrate the algorithms performance on various data sets.