Effects of Brain Atlases and Machine Learning Methods on the Discrimination of Schizophrenia Patients: A Multimodal MRI Study

Jinyu Zang, Yuanyuan Huang, Lingyin Kong, Bingye Lei, Pengfei Ke, Hehua Li, Jing Zhou, Dongsheng Xiong, Guixiang Li, Jun Chen, Xiaobo Li, Zhiming Xiang, Yuping Ning, Fengchun Wu, Kai Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Recently, machine learning techniques have been widely applied in discriminative studies of schizophrenia (SZ) patients with multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); however, the effects of brain atlases and machine learning methods remain largely unknown. In this study, we collected MRI data for 61 first-episode SZ patients (FESZ), 79 chronic SZ patients (CSZ) and 205 normal controls (NC) and calculated 4 MRI measurements, including regional gray matter volume (GMV), regional homogeneity (ReHo), amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation and degree centrality. We systematically analyzed the performance of two classifications (SZ vs NC; FESZ vs CSZ) based on the combinations of three brain atlases, five classifiers, two cross validation methods and 3 dimensionality reduction algorithms. Our results showed that the groupwise whole-brain atlas with 268 ROIs outperformed the other two brain atlases. In addition, the leave-one-out cross validation was the best cross validation method to select the best hyperparameter set, but the classification performances by different classifiers and dimensionality reduction algorithms were quite similar. Importantly, the contributions of input features to both classifications were higher with the GMV and ReHo features of brain regions in the prefrontal and temporal gyri. Furthermore, an ensemble learning method was performed to establish an integrated model, in which classification performance was improved. Taken together, these findings indicated the effects of these factors in constructing effective classifiers for psychiatric diseases and showed that the integrated model has the potential to improve the clinical diagnosis and treatment evaluation of SZ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number697168
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
StatePublished - Jul 27 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


  • brain atlas
  • classification
  • machine learning
  • multimodal MRI
  • schizophrenia


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