A Review on Dependence Measures in Exploring Brain Networks from fMRI Data
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique allows us to capture activities occurring in a human brain via signals from blood flow, known as BOLD (blood oxygen level-dependent) signals. Exploring a relationship among brain regions inside human brains from fMRI data is an active and challenging research topic. Relationships or associations between brain regions are commonly referred to as brain connectivity or brain network. This connectivity can be divided into two groups, the functional connectivity which describes the statistical information among brain regions and the effective connectivity which specifies how one region interacts with others by a causal model. This survey paper provides a review on learning brain connectivities via fMRI data, mathematical definitions or dependence measures of such connectivities. These well-known measures include correlation, partial correlation, conditional independence, dynamical causal modeling, Granger causality, and structural equation modeling, which all can be translated in terms of mathematical conditions of model parameters. We also discusses about relevant estimation techniques that have been widely used in the problems of fMRI modeling. Understanding a rigorous definition on relationships in human brain allows us to interpret or compare the results in the context of learning brain network more clearly.