Uncertainty in Functional Network Representations of Brain Activity of Alcoholic Patients

Zanin, Massimiliano; Belkoura, Seddik; Gomez, Javier; Alfaro, César; Cano, Javier
Brain Topography , (2020)

In spite of the large attention received by brain activity analyses through functional networks, the effects of uncertainty on such representations have mostly been neglected. We here elaborate the hypothesis that such uncertainty is not just a nuisance, but that on the contrary is condition-dependent. We test this hypothesis by analysing a large set of EEG brain recordings corresponding to control subjects and patients suffering from alcoholism, through the reconstruction of the corresponding Maximum Spanning Trees (MSTs), the assessment of their topological differences, and the comparison of two frequentist and Bayesian reconstruction approaches. A machine learning model demonstrates that the Bayesian reconstruction encodes more information than the frequentist one, and that such additional information is related to the uncertainty of the topological structures. We finally show how the Bayesian approach is more effective in the validation of generative models, over and above the frequentist one, by proposing and disproving two models based on additive noise.

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