While researchers have extensively characterized functional connectivity between brain regions, the characterization of functional homogeneity within a region of the brain connectome is in early stages of development. Several functional homogeneity measures were proposed previously, among which regional homogeneity (ReHo) was most widely used as a measure to characterize functional homogeneity of resting state fMRI (R-fMRI) signals within a small region (Zang et al., 2004). Despite a burgeoning literature on ReHo in the field of neuroimaging brain disorders, its test-retest (TRT) reliability remains unestablished. Using two sets of public R-fMRI TRT data, we systematically evaluated the ReHo's TRT reliability and further investigated the various factors influencing its reliability and found: 1) nuisance (head motion, white matter, and cerebrospinal fluid) correction of R-fMRI time series can significantly improve the TRT reliability of ReHo while additional removal of global brain signal reduces its reliability, 2) spatial smoothing of R-fMRI time series artificially enhances ReHo intensity and influences its reliability, 3) surface-based R-fMRI computation largely improves the TRT reliability of ReHo, 4) a scan duration of 5 min can achieve reliable estimates of ReHo, and 5) fast sampling rates of R-fMRI dramatically increase the reliability of ReHo. Inspired by these findings and seeking a highly reliable approach to exploratory analysis of the human functional connectome, we established an R-fMRI pipeline to conduct ReHo computations in both 3-dimensions (volume) and 2-dimensions (surface).
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