Archana Venkataraman, PhD
Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Title: Biologically Inspired Deep Learning as a New Window into Brain Dysfunction
Abstract: Deep learning has disrupted nearly every major field of study from computer vision to genomics. The unparalleled success of these models has, in many cases, been fueled by an explosion of data. Millions of labeled images, thousands of annotated ICU admissions, and hundreds of hours of transcribed speech are common standards in the literature. Clinical neuroscience is a notable holdout to this trend. It is a field of unavoidably small datasets, massive patient variability, and complex (largely unknown) phenomena. My lab tackles these challenges across a spectrum of projects, from answering foundational neuroscientific questions to translational applications of neuroimaging data to exploratory directions for probing neural circuitry. One of our key strategies is to integrate a priori information about the brain and biology into the model design.
This talk will highlight two ongoing projects that epitomize this strategy. First, I will showcase an end-to-end deep learning framework that fuses neuroimaging, genetic, and phenotypic data, while maintaining interpretability of the extracted biomarkers. We use a learnable dropout layer to extract a sparse subset of predictive imaging features and a biologically informed deep network architecture for whole-genome analysis. Specifically, the network uses hierarchical graph convolution that mimic the organization of a well-established gene ontology to track the convergence of genetic risk across biological pathways. Second, I will present a deep-generative hybrid model for epileptic seizure detection from scalp EEG. The latent variables in this model capture the spatiotemporal spread of a seizure; they are complemented by a nonparametric likelihood based on convolutional neural networks. I will also highlight our current end-to-end extensions of this work focused on seizure onset localization. Finally, I will conclude with exciting future directions for our work across the foundational, translational, and exploratory axes.