Article: article from journal or magazin.
Group analysis in functional neuroimaging: selecting subjects using similarity measures.
Publication types: Journal ArticlePublication Status: ppublish
Standard group analyses of fMRI data rely on spatial and temporal averaging of individuals. This averaging operation is only sensible when the mean is a good representation of the group. This is not the case if subjects are not homogeneous, and it is therefore a major concern in fMRI studies to assess this group homogeneity. We present a method that provides relevant distances or similarity measures between temporal series of brain functional images belonging to different subjects. The method allows a multivariate comparison between data sets of several subjects in the time or in the space domain. These analyses assess the global intersubject variability before averaging subjects and drawing conclusions across subjects, at the population level. We adapt the RV coefficient to measure meaningful spatial or temporal similarities and use multidimensional scaling to give a visual representation of each subject's position with respect to other subjects in the group. We also provide a measure for detecting subjects that may be outliers. Results show that the method is a powerful tool to detect subjects with specific temporal or spatial patterns, and that, despite the apparent loss of information, restricting the analysis to a homogeneous subgroup of subjects does not reduce the statistical sensitivity of standard group fMRI analyses.
Algorithms, Artifacts, Data Interpretation, Statistical, Humans, Individuality, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Models, Neurological, Nervous System/anatomy & histology, Patient Selection, Population, Psychomotor Performance/physiology, Reproducibility of Results, Time Factors
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