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J Am Stat Assoc. 2011 Mar 1;106(493):124-134.

Meta Analysis of Functional Neuroimaging Data via Bayesian Spatial Point Processes.

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Department of Biostatistics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 ( ).


As the discipline of functional neuroimaging grows there is an increasing interest in meta analysis of brain imaging studies. A typical neuroimaging meta analysis collects peak activation coordinates (foci) from several studies and identifies areas of consistent activation. Most imaging meta analysis methods only produce null hypothesis inferences and do not provide an interpretable fitted model. To overcome these limitations, we propose a Bayesian spatial hierarchical model using a marked independent cluster process. We model the foci as offspring of a latent study center process, and the study centers are in turn offspring of a latent population center process. The posterior intensity function of the population center process provides inference on the location of population centers, as well as the inter-study variability of foci about the population centers. We illustrate our model with a meta analysis consisting of 437 studies from 164 publications, show how two subpopulations of studies can be compared and assess our model via sensitivity analyses and simulation studies. Supplemental materials are available online.

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