Description: |
HINT: A Hierarchical Independent Component Analysis Toolbox for Investigating Brain Functional Networks using Neuroimaging Data. Independent component analysis (ICA) is a popular tool for investigating brain organization in neuroscience research. In fMRI studies, an important goal is to study how brain networks are modulated by subjects’ clinical and demographic variables. Existing ICA methods and toolboxes don’t incorporate subjects’ covariates effects in ICA estimation of brain networks, which potentially leads to loss in accuracy and statistical power in detecting brain network differences between subjects’ groups. We introduce a Matlab toolbox, HINT (Hierarchical INdependent component analysis Toolbox), that provides a hierarchical covariate-adjusted ICA (hc-ICA) for modeling and testing covariate effects and generates model-based estimates of brain networks on both the population- and individual-level. HINT provides a user-friendly Matlab GUI that allows users to easily load images, specify covariate effects, monitor model estimation via an EM algorithm, specify hypothesis tests, and visualize results. HINT also has a command line interface which allows users to conveniently run and reproduce the analysis with a script. HINT implements a new multi-level probabilistic ICA model for group ICA. It provides a statistically principled ICA modeling framework for investigating covariate effects on brain networks. HINT can also generate and visualize model-based network estimates for user-specified subject groups, which greatly facilitates group comparisons. |