Detecting Task-Dependent Functional Connectivity in Group Iterative Multiple Model Estimation with Person-Specific Hemodynamic Response Functions

Kelly A. Duffy, Zachary F. Fisher, Cara A. Arizmendi, Peter C.M. Molenaar, Joseph Hopfinger, Jessica R. Cohen, Adriene M. Beltz, Martin A. Lindquist, Michael N. Hallquist, Kathleen M. Gates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Introduction: Group iterative multiple model estimation (GIMME) has proven to be a reliable data-driven method to arrive at functional connectivity maps that represent associations between brain regions across time in groups and individuals. However, to date, GIMME has not been able to model time-varying task-related effects. This article introduces HRF-GIMME, an extension of GIMME that enables the modeling of the direct and modulatory effects of a task on functional magnetic resonance imaging data collected by using event-related designs. Critically, hemodynamic response function (HRF)-GIMME incorporates person-specific modeling of the HRF to accommodate known variability in onset delay and shape. Methods: After an introduction of the technical aspects of HRF-GIMME, the performance of HRF-GIMME is evaluated via both a simulation study and application to empirical data. The simulation study assesses the sensitivity and specificity of HRF-GIMME by using data simulated from one slow and two rapid event-related designs, and HRF-GIMME is then applied to two empirical data sets from similar designs to evaluate performance in recovering known neural circuitry. Results: HRF-GIMME showed high sensitivity and specificity across all simulated conditions, and it performed well in the recovery of expected relations between convolved task vectors and brain regions in both simulated and empirical data, particularly for the slow event-related design. Conclusion: Results from simulated and empirical data indicate that HRF-GIMME is a powerful new tool for obtaining directed functional connectivity maps of intrinsic and task-related connections that is able to uncover what is common across the sample as well as crucial individual-level path connections and estimates. Group iterative multiple model estimation (GIMME) is a reliable method for creating functional connectivity maps of the connections between brain regions across time, and it is able to detect what is common across the sample and what is shared between subsets of participants, as well as individual-level path estimates. However, historically, GIMME does not model task-related effects. The novel HRF-GIMME algorithm enables the modeling of direct and modulatory task effects through individual-level estimation of the hemodynamic response function (HRF), presenting a powerful new tool for assessing task effects on functional connectivity networks in functional magnetic resonance imaging data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-429
Number of pages12
JournalBrain Connectivity
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


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