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Clusters of correlated activity in functional magnetic resonance imaging data can identify regions of interest and indicate interacting brain areas. Because the extraction of clusters is computationally complex, we apply an approximative method which is based on artificial neural networks. It allows one to find clusters of various degrees of connectivity ranging between the two extreme cases of cliques and connectivity components. We propose a criterion which allows to evaluate the relevance of such structures based on the robustness with respect to parameter variations. Exploiting the intracluster correlations, we can show that regions of substantial correlation with an external stimulus can be unambiguously separated from other activity.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2005