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Publication Detail
Large-scale inference in the focally damaged human brain
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Xu T
  • Date awarded:
  • Pagination:
    1, 286
  • Awarding institution:
    UCL (University College London)
  • Language:
Clinical outcomes in focal brain injury reflect the interactions between two distinct anatomically distributed patterns: the functional organisation of the brain and the structural distribution of injury. The challenge of understanding the functional architecture of the brain is familiar; that of understanding the lesion architecture is barely acknowledged. Yet, models of the functional consequences of focal injury are critically dependent on our knowledge of both. The studies described in this thesis seek to show how machine learning-enabled high-dimensional multivariate analysis powered by large-scale data can enhance our ability to model the relation between focal brain injury and clinical outcomes across an array of modelling applications. All studies are conducted on internationally the largest available set of MR imaging data of focal brain injury in the context of acute stroke (N=1333) and employ kernel machines at the principal modelling architecture. First, I examine lesion-deficit prediction, quantifying the ceiling on achievable predictive fidelity for high-dimensional and low-dimensional models, demonstrating the former to be substantially higher than the latter. Second, I determine the marginal value of adding unlabelled imaging data to predictive models within a semi-supervised framework, quantifying the benefit of assembling unlabelled collections of clinical imaging. Third, I compare high- and low-dimensional approaches to modelling response to therapy in two contexts: quantifying the effect of treatment at the population level (therapeutic inference) and predicting the optimal treatment in an individual patient (prescriptive inference). I demonstrate the superiority of the high-dimensional approach in both settings.
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