Skip to Main Content
We propose a new method for detecting activation in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. We project the fMRI time series on a low-dimensional subspace spanned by wavelet packets in order to create projections that are as non-Gaussian as possible. Our approach achieves two goals: it reduces the dimensionality of the problem by explicitly constructing a sparse approximation to the dataset and it also creates meaningful clusters allowing the separation of the activated regions from the clutter formed by the background time series. We use a mixture of Gaussian densities to model the distribution of the wavelet packet coefficients. We expect activated areas that are connected, and impose a spatial prior in the form of a Markov random field. Our approach was validated with in vivo data and realistic synthetic data, where it outperformed a linear model equipped with the knowledge of the true hemodynamic response.