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Brain Connect. 2012;2(3):125-41. doi: 10.1089/brain.2012.0073. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

Conn: a functional connectivity toolbox for correlated and anticorrelated brain networks.

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1
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Martinos Imaging Center at McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and Poitras Center for Affective Disorders Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. swg@mit.edu

Abstract

Resting state functional connectivity reveals intrinsic, spontaneous networks that elucidate the functional architecture of the human brain. However, valid statistical analysis used to identify such networks must address sources of noise in order to avoid possible confounds such as spurious correlations based on non-neuronal sources. We have developed a functional connectivity toolbox Conn ( www.nitrc.org/projects/conn ) that implements the component-based noise correction method (CompCor) strategy for physiological and other noise source reduction, additional removal of movement, and temporal covariates, temporal filtering and windowing of the residual blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) contrast signal, first-level estimation of multiple standard functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI) measures, and second-level random-effect analysis for resting state as well as task-related data. Compared to methods that rely on global signal regression, the CompCor noise reduction method allows for interpretation of anticorrelations as there is no regression of the global signal. The toolbox implements fcMRI measures, such as estimation of seed-to-voxel and region of interest (ROI)-to-ROI functional correlations, as well as semipartial correlation and bivariate/multivariate regression analysis for multiple ROI sources, graph theoretical analysis, and novel voxel-to-voxel analysis of functional connectivity. We describe the methods implemented in the Conn toolbox for the analysis of fcMRI data, together with examples of use and interscan reliability estimates of all the implemented fcMRI measures. The results indicate that the CompCor method increases the sensitivity and selectivity of fcMRI analysis, and show a high degree of interscan reliability for many fcMRI measures.

PMID:
22642651
DOI:
10.1089/brain.2012.0073
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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