A study of analysis parameters that influence the sensitivity of event-related fMRI analyses

Neuroimage. 2000 Apr;11(4):326-33. doi: 10.1006/nimg.2000.0549.


To assess the effect of various analysis parameters on the sensitivity of event-related fMRI analyses, 36 analyses were performed on a single fMRI data-set, varying parameters along four axes: (1) resampled voxel size; (2) spatial smoothing; (3) temporal smoothing; and (4) the set of basis functions used to model event-related responses. Sensitivity (i.e., the probability of detecting an activation given it exists) was assessed in terms of Z scores and by a metric for corrected P values, the negative log of the expected Euler characteristic. Sixteen brain regions distributed across cortical and subcortical areas were included in the meta-analysis. Main effects on sensitivity were found for resampled voxel size, spatial smoothing, temporal smoothing, and the set of basis functions chosen. The analysis parameters that generally produced the most sensitive analyses were a 2-mm(3) resampled voxel size, 10-mm spatial smoothing, 4-s temporal smoothing, and a basis set comprising a hemodynamic response function and its temporal derivative.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
  • Echo-Planar Imaging
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*