Neuroimaging experiments produce a large volume (gigabytes) of high-dimensional spatio-temporal data for a small number of sampled participants and stimuli. Analyses of this data commonly compute averages over all trials, ignoring variation within groups of participants and stimuli. To enable the analysis of fMRI data without this implicit assumption of uniformity, we propose Neural Topographic Factor Analysis (NTFA), a deep generative model that parameterizes factors as functions of embeddings for participants and stimuli. We evaluate NTFA on a synthetically generated dataset as well as on three datasets from fMRI experiments. Our results demonstrate that NTFA yields more accurate reconstructions than a state-of-the-art method with fewer parameters. Moreover, learned embeddings uncover latent categories of participants and stimuli, which suggests that NTFA takes a first step towards reasoning about individual variation in fMRI experiments.
Speakers: Eli Sennesh, Zulqarnain Khan, Yiyu Wang, Jennifer Dy, Ajay Satpute, J. Benjamin Hutchinson, Jan-Willem van de Meent