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Med Image Anal. 2012 Jul;16(5):976-90. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 Feb 28.

Structural analysis of fMRI data: a surface-based framework for multi-subject studies.

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  • 1LSIS Laboratory, CNRS, Marseille, France.


We present a method for fMRI data group analysis that makes the link between two distinct frameworks: surface-based techniques, which process data in the domain defined by the surface of the cortex, and structural techniques, which use object-based representations of the data as opposed to voxel-based ones. This work is a natural surface-based extension of the volume-based structural approach presented in a previous paper. A multi-scale surface-based representation of individual activation maps is first computed for each subject. Then the inter-subject matching and the activation detection decision are performed jointly by optimization of a Markovian model. Finally, a significance measure is computed in a non-parametric way for the results, in order to assess their relevance and control the risk of type I error. The method is applied on simulated and real data and the results are compared to those produced by standard analyses. The surface-based structural analysis is shown to be particularly robust to inter-subject spatial variability and to produce relevant results with good specificity and sensitivity. We also demonstrate the advantages of the surface-based approach by comparing with the results of a 3D structural analysis.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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