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Computer Science - Neurological Disorders - Neuroscience - Radiology and Medical Imaging

Clustering of Resting State Networks
Published: Monday, July 09, 2012
Author: Megan H. Lee et al.

by Megan H. Lee, Carl D. Hacker, Abraham Z. Snyder, Maurizio Corbetta, Dongyang Zhang, Eric C. Leuthardt, Joshua S. Shimony


The goal of the study was to demonstrate a hierarchical structure of resting state activity in the healthy brain using a data-driven clustering algorithm.

Methodology/Principal Findings

The fuzzy-c-means clustering algorithm was applied to resting state fMRI data in cortical and subcortical gray matter from two groups acquired separately, one of 17 healthy individuals and the second of 21 healthy individuals. Different numbers of clusters and different starting conditions were used. A cluster dispersion measure determined the optimal numbers of clusters. An inner product metric provided a measure of similarity between different clusters. The two cluster result found the task-negative and task-positive systems. The cluster dispersion measure was minimized with seven and eleven clusters. Each of the clusters in the seven and eleven cluster result was associated with either the task-negative or task-positive system. Applying the algorithm to find seven clusters recovered previously described resting state networks, including the default mode network, frontoparietal control network, ventral and dorsal attention networks, somatomotor, visual, and language networks. The language and ventral attention networks had significant subcortical involvement. This parcellation was consistently found in a large majority of algorithm runs under different conditions and was robust to different methods of initialization.


The clustering of resting state activity using different optimal numbers of clusters identified resting state networks comparable to previously obtained results. This work reinforces the observation that resting state networks are hierarchically organized.