The heritability of the functional connectome is robust to common nonlinear registration methods

George W. Hafzalla, Gautam Prasad, Vatche G. Baboyan, Joshua Faskowitz, Neda Jahanshad, Katie L. McMahon, Greig I. De Zubicaray, Margaret J. Wright, Meredith N. Braskie, Paul M. Thompson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Nonlinear registration algorithms are routinely used in brain imaging, to align data for inter-subject and group comparisons, and for voxelwise statistical analyses. To understand how the choice of registration method affects maps of functional brain connectivity in a sample of 611 twins, we evaluated three popular nonlinear registration methods: Advanced Normalization Tools (ANTs), Automatic Registration Toolbox (ART), and FMRIB's Nonlinear Image Registration Tool (FNIRT). Using both structural and functional MRI, we used each of the three methods to align the MNI152 brain template, and 80 regions of interest (ROIs), to each subject's T1-weighted (T1w) anatomical image. We then transformed each subject's ROIs onto the associated resting state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) scans and computed a connectivity network or functional connectome for each subject. Given the different degrees of genetic similarity between pairs of monozygotic (MZ) and same-sex dizygotic (DZ) twins, we used structural equation modeling to estimate the additive genetic influences on the elements of the function networks, or their heritability. The functional connectome and derived statistics were relatively robust to nonlinear registration effects.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2016
Subtitle of host publicationImage Processing
EditorsMartin A. Styner, Elsa D. Angelini, Elsa D. Angelini
ISBN (Electronic)9781510600195
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventMedical Imaging 2016: Image Processing - San Diego, United States
Duration: 1 Mar 20163 Mar 2016

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceMedical Imaging 2016: Image Processing
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Default mode network
  • Functional connectome
  • Heritability
  • Inter-subject alignment
  • Multimodal evaluation
  • Nonlinear registration
  • Resting state functional MRI
  • Structural tissue classification


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