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Neuroimage. 2002 Sep;17(1):19-28.

An empirical comparison of SPM preprocessing parameters to the analysis of fMRI data.

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Rotman Research Institute of Baycrest Centre, Toronto, Ontario M6A 2E1, Canada.


We present the results from two sets of Monte Carlo simulations aimed at evaluating the robustness of some preprocessing parameters of SPM99 for the analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Statistical robustness was estimated by implementing parametric and nonparametric simulation approaches based on the images obtained from an event-related fMRI experiment. Simulated datasets were tested for combinations of the following parameters: basis function, global scaling, low-pass filter, high-pass filter and autoregressive modeling of serial autocorrelation. Based on single-subject SPM analysis, we derived the following conclusions that may serve as a guide for initial analysis of fMRI data using SPM99: (1) The canonical hemodynamic response function is a more reliable basis function to model the fMRI time series than HRF with time derivative. (2) Global scaling should be avoided since it may significantly decrease the power depending on the experimental design. (3) The use of a high-pass filter may be beneficial for event-related designs with fixed interstimulus intervals. (4) When dealing with fMRI time series with short interstimulus intervals (<8 s), the use of first-order autoregressive model is recommended over a low-pass filter (HRF) because it reduces the risk of inferential bias while providing a relatively good power. For datasets with interstimulus intervals longer than 8 seconds, temporal smoothing is not recommended since it decreases power. While the generalizability of our results may be limited, the methods we employed can be easily implemented by other scientists to determine the best parameter combination to analyze their data.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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