Spatiotemporal analysis of event-related fMRI data using partial least squares

Neuroimage. 2004 Oct;23(2):764-75. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2004.05.018.


Partial least squares (PLS) has proven to be a important multivariate analytic tool for positron emission tomographic and, more recently, event-related potential (ERP) data. The application to ERP incorporates the ability to analyze space and time together, a feature that has obvious appeal for event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. This paper presents the extension of spatiotemporal PLS (ST-PLS) to fMRI, explaining the theoretical foundation and application to an fMRI study of auditory and visual perceptual memory. Analysis of activation effects with ST-PLS was compared with conventional univariate random effects analysis, showing general consensus for both methods, but several unique observations by ST-PLS, including enhanced statistical power. The application of ST-PLS for assessment of task-dependent brain-behavior relationships is also presented. Singular features of ST-PLS include (1) no assumptions about the shape of the hemodynamic response functions (HRFs); (2) robust statistical assessment at the image level through permutation tests; (3) protection against outlier influences at the voxel level through bootstrap resampling; (4) flexible analytic configurations that allow assessment of activation difference, brain-behavior relations, and functional connectivity. These features enable ST-PLS to act as an important complement to other multivariate and univariate approaches used in neuroimaging research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Auditory Perception / physiology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Reproducibility of Results