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Optimizing contrastive learning for cortical folding pattern detection

  • Gaudin, Aymeric
  • Guillon, Louise
  • Fischer, Clara
  • Cachia, Arnaud
  • Rivière, Denis
  • Mangin, Jean-François
  • Chavas, Joel
Publication Date
Feb 18, 2024
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The human cerebral cortex has many bumps and grooves called gyri and sulci. Even though there is a high interindividual consistency for the main cortical folds, this is not the case when we examine the exact shapes and details of the folding patterns. Because of this complexity, characterizing the cortical folding variability and relating them to subjects' behavioral characteristics or pathologies is still an open scientific problem. Classical approaches include labeling a few specific patterns, either manually or semi-automatically, based on geometric distances, but the recent availability of MRI image datasets of tens of thousands of subjects makes modern deep-learning techniques particularly attractive. Here, we build a self-supervised deep-learning model to detect folding patterns in the cingulate region. We train a contrastive self-supervised model (SimCLR) on both Human Connectome Project (1101 subjects) and UKBioBank (21070 subjects) datasets with topological-based augmentations on the cortical skeletons, which are topological objects that capture the shape of the folds. We explore several backbone architectures (convolutional network, DenseNet, and PointNet) for the SimCLR. For evaluation and testing, we perform a linear classification task on a database manually labeled for the presence of the "double-parallel" folding pattern in the cingulate region, which is related to schizophrenia characteristics. The best model, giving a test AUC of 0.76, is a convolutional network with 6 layers, a 10-dimensional latent space, a linear projection head, and using the branch-clipping augmentation. This is the first time that a self-supervised deep learning model has been applied to cortical skeletons on such a large dataset and quantitatively evaluated. We can now envisage the next step: applying it to other brain regions to detect other biomarkers. The GitHub repository is publicly available on jchavas cingulate inhibitory control.

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