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Neuroimage. 2010 Oct 15;53(1):119-31. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.02.084. Epub 2010 May 5.

Multi-site characterization of an fMRI working memory paradigm: reliability of activation indices.

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Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Dept. of Radiology, MGH, Dept. of Radiology, Harvard Medical School, USA.


Neuroimaging studies are facilitated significantly when it is possible to recruit subjects and acquire data at multiple sites. However, the use of different scanners and acquisition protocols is a potential source of variability in multi-site data. In this work we present a multi-site study of the reliability of fMRI activation indices, where 10 healthy volunteers were scanned at 4 different sites while performing a working memory paradigm. Our results indicate that, even with different scanner manufacturers and field strengths, activation variability due to site differences is small compared to variability due to subject differences in this cognitive task, provided we choose an appropriate activation measure.

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