A cnn-based autoencoder and machine learning model for identifying betel-quid chewers using functional mri features

Ming Chou Ho, Hsin An Shen, Yi Peng Eve Chang, Jun Cheng Weng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

3 Scopus citations


Betel quid (BQ) is one of the most commonly used psychoactive substances in some parts of Asia and the Pacific. Although some studies have shown brain function alterations in BQ chewers, it is virtually impossible for radiologists’ to visually distinguish MRI maps of BQ chewers from others. In this study, we aimed to construct autoencoder and machine-learning models to discover brain alterations in BQ chewers based on the features of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) was obtained from 16 BQ chewers, 15 tobacco-and alcohol-user controls (TA), and 17 healthy controls (HC). We used an autoencoder and machine learning model to identify BQ chewers among the three groups. A convolutional neural network (CNN)-based autoencoder model and supervised machine learning algorithm logistic regression (LR) were used to discriminate BQ chewers from TA and HC. Classifying the brain MRIs of HC, TA controls, and BQ chewers by conducting leave-one-out-cross-validation (LOOCV) resulted in the highest accuracy of 83%, which was attained by LR with two rs-fMRI feature sets. In our research, we constructed an autoencoder and machine-learning model that was able to identify BQ chewers from among TA controls and HC, which were based on data from rs-fMRI, and this might provide a helpful approach for tracking BQ chewers in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number809
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - 06 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Autoencoder
  • Betel quid
  • Logistic regression
  • Resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI)


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