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Med Eng Phys. 2015 Nov;37(11):1082-90. doi: 10.1016/j.medengphy.2015.09.001. Epub 2015 Oct 21.

Fuzzy approximate entropy analysis of resting state fMRI signal complexity across the adult life span.

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Cognitive Neuroscience Sector, International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), Via Bonomea 265, 34136 Trieste, Italy; MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, Cardiff School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK; Imaging Science, Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC), Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK. Electronic address:
Aberdeen Biomedical Imaging Centre, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK.
Department of Medical Physics, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, NHS Grampian, Aberdeen, UK.
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, NHS Grampian, Aberdeen, UK.


In this study, we present a method for measuring functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signal complexity using fuzzy approximate entropy (fApEn) and compare it with the established sample entropy (SampEn). Here we use resting state fMRI dataset of 86 healthy adults (41 males) with age ranging from 19 to 85 years. We expect the complexity of the resting state fMRI signals measured to be consistent with the Goldberger/Lipsitz model for robustness where healthier (younger) and more robust systems exhibit more complexity in their physiological output and system complexity decrease with age. The mean whole brain fApEn demonstrated significant negative correlation (r = -0.472, p<0.001) with age. In comparison, SampEn produced a non-significant negative correlation (r = -0.099, p = 0.367). fApEn also demonstrated a significant (p < 0.05) negative correlation with age regionally (frontal, parietal, limbic, temporal and cerebellum parietal lobes). There was no significant correlation regionally between the SampEn maps and age. These results support the Goldberger/Lipsitz model for robustness and have shown that fApEn is potentially a sensitive new method for the complexity analysis of fMRI data.


Ageing; Blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD); Complexity; Fuzzy approximate entropy (fApEn); Resting state-functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI); Sample entropy (SampEn)

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