SwiFT: Swin 4D fMRI Transformer

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper


Peter Kim, Junbeom Kwon, Sunghwan Joo, Sangyoon Bae, Donggyu Lee, Yoonho Jung, Shinjae Yoo, Jiook Cha, Taesup Moon


Modeling spatiotemporal brain dynamics from high-dimensional data, such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), is a formidable task in neuroscience. Existing approaches for fMRI analysis utilize hand-crafted features, but the process of feature extraction risks losing essential information in fMRI scans. To address this challenge, we present SwiFT (Swin 4D fMRI Transformer), a Swin Transformer architecture that can learn brain dynamics directly from fMRI volumes in a memory and computation-efficient manner. SwiFT achieves this by implementing a 4D window multi-head self-attention mechanism and absolute positional embeddings. We evaluate SwiFT using multiple large-scale resting-state fMRI datasets, including the Human Connectome Project (HCP), Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD), and UK Biobank (UKB) datasets, to predict sex, age, and cognitive intelligence. Our experimental outcomes reveal that SwiFT consistently outperforms recent state-of-the-art models. Furthermore, by leveraging its end-to-end learning capability, we show that contrastive loss-based self-supervised pre-training of SwiFT can enhance performance on downstream tasks. Additionally, we employ an explainable AI method to identify the brain regions associated with sex classification. To our knowledge, SwiFT is the first Swin Transformer architecture to process dimensional spatiotemporal brain functional data in an end-to-end fashion. Our work holds substantial potential in facilitating scalable learning of functional brain imaging in neuroscience research by reducing the hurdles associated with applying Transformer models to high-dimensional fMRI.