In this article, we propose a two-step pipeline to explore task-dependent functional coactivations of brain clusters with constraints from the structural connectivity network. In the first step, the pipeline employs a nonparametric Bayesian clustering method that can estimate the optimal number of clusters, cluster assignments of brain regions of interest (ROIs), and the strength of within- and between-cluster connections without any prior knowledge. In the second step, a factor analysis model is applied to functional data with factors defined as the obtained structural clusters and the factor structure informed by the structural network. The coactivations of ROIs and their clusters can be studied by correlations between factors, which can largely differ by ongoing cognitive task. We provide a simulation study to validate that the pipeline can recover the underlying structural and functional network. We also apply the proposed pipeline to empirical data to explore the structural network of ROIs obtained by the Gordon parcellation and study their functional coactivations across eight cognitive tasks and a resting-state condition.

In this article, we propose a two-step pipeline to explore task-dependent functional coactivations of brain clusters with constraints imposed from structural connectivity networks. In the first step, the pipeline employs a nonparametric Bayesian clustering method that can estimate the optimal number of clusters, cluster assignments of brain regions of interest, and the strength of within- and between-cluster connections without any prior knowledge. In the second step, a factor analysis model is applied to functional data with factors defined as the obtained structural clusters and the factor structure informed by the structural network.

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Author notes

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Handling Editor: Sean Hill

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