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A review of multivariate analyses in imaging genetics

DOI: 10.3389/fninf.2014.00029

Keywords: imaging genetics, multivariate analyses, genotype, phenotype, intermediate phenotypes

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Recent advances in neuroimaging technology and molecular genetics provide the unique opportunity to investigate genetic influence on the variation of brain attributes. Since the year 2000, when the initial publication on brain imaging and genetics was released, imaging genetics has been a rapidly growing research approach with increasing publications every year. Several reviews have been offered to the research community focusing on various study designs. In addition to study design, analytic tools and their proper implementation are also critical to the success of a study. In this review, we survey recent publications using data from neuroimaging and genetics, focusing on methods capturing multivariate effects accommodating the large number of variables from both imaging data and genetic data. We group the analyses of genetic or genomic data into either a priori driven or data driven approach, including gene-set enrichment analysis, multifactor dimensionality reduction, principal component analysis, independent component analysis (ICA), and clustering. For the analyses of imaging data, ICA and extensions of ICA are the most widely used multivariate methods. Given detailed reviews of multivariate analyses of imaging data available elsewhere, we provide a brief summary here that includes a recently proposed method known as independent vector analysis. Finally, we review methods focused on bridging the imaging and genetic data by establishing multivariate and multiple genotype-phenotype-associations, including sparse partial least squares, sparse canonical correlation analysis, sparse reduced rank regression and parallel ICA. These methods are designed to extract latent variables from both genetic and imaging data, which become new genotypes and phenotypes, and the links between the new genotype-phenotype pairs are maximized using different cost functions. The relationship between these methods along with their assumptions, advantages, and limitations are discussed.


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