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Neuroimage. 2017 Aug 15;157:250-262. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.06.006. Epub 2017 Jul 3.

Resting-state fMRI correlations: From link-wise unreliability to whole brain stability.

Author information

1
Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience, Center for Brain and Cognition, Roc Boronat, 138, 08018 Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address: mario.pannunzi@gmail.com.
2
Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience, Center for Brain and Cognition, Roc Boronat, 138, 08018 Barcelona, Spain.
3
Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Center for Lifespan Psychology, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin, Germany.
4
Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Center for Lifespan Psychology, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin, Germany; University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf, Clinic and Policlinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Martinistraße 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.
5
Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Center for Lifespan Psychology, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin, Germany; Department of psychology, Lund University, Box 117, 221 00 Lund, Sweden.
6
Department of Psychology, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany; Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin, Philippstr. 13 Haus 6, 10115 Berlin, Germany.
7
Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience, Center for Brain and Cognition, Roc Boronat, 138, 08018 Barcelona, Spain; Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience, Center for Brain and Cognition, Roc Boronat, 138, 08018 Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

The functional architecture of spontaneous BOLD fluctuations has been characterized in detail by numerous studies, demonstrating its potential relevance as a biomarker. However, the systematic investigation of its consistency is still in its infancy. Here, we analyze within- and between-subject variability and test-retest reliability of resting-state functional connectivity (FC) in a unique data set comprising multiple fMRI scans (42) from 5 subjects, and 50 single scans from 50 subjects. We adopt a statistical framework that enables us to identify different sources of variability in FC. We show that the low reliability of single links can be significantly improved by using multiple scans per subject. Moreover, in contrast to earlier studies, we show that spatial heterogeneity in FC reliability is not significant. Finally, we demonstrate that despite the low reliability of individual links, the information carried by the whole-brain FC matrix is robust and can be used as a functional fingerprint to identify individual subjects from the population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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