Ultra-high dimensional variable selection has become increasingly important in analysis of neuroimaging data. For example, in the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE) study, neuroscientists are interested in identifying important biomarkers for early detection of the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) using high resolution brain images that include hundreds of thousands voxels. However, most existing methods are not feasible for solving this problem due to their extensive computational costs. In this work, we propose a novel multiresolution variable selection procedure under a Bayesian probit regression framework. It recursively uses posterior samples for coarser-scale variable selection to guide the posterior inference on finer-scale variable selection, leading to very efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms. The proposed algorithms are computationally feasible for ultra-high dimensional data. Also, our model incorporates two levels of structural information into variable selection using Ising priors: the spatial dependence between voxels and the functional connectivity between anatomical brain regions. Applied to the resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (R-fMRI) data in the ABIDE study, our methods identify voxel-level imaging biomarkers highly predictive of the ASD, which are biologically meaningful and interpretable. Extensive simulations also show that our methods achieve better performance in variable selection compared to existing methods.
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