Coordinate based meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging data; false discovery control and diagnostics

PLoS One. 2013 Jul 29;8(7):e70143. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070143. Print 2013.

Abstract

Coordinate based meta-analysis (CBMA) is widely used to find regions of consistent activation across fMRI studies that have been selected for their functional relevance to a given hypothesis. Only reported coordinates (foci), and a model of their spatial uncertainty, are used in the analysis. Results are clusters of foci where multiple studies have reported in the same spatial region, indicating functional relevance. There are several published methods that perform the analysis in a voxel-wise manner, resulting in around 10(5) statistical tests, and considerable emphasis placed on controlling the risk of type 1 statistical error. Here we address this issue by dramatically reducing the number of tests, and by introducing a new false discovery rate control: the false cluster discovery rate (FCDR). FCDR is particularly interpretable and relevant to the results of CBMA, controlling the type 1 error by limiting the proportion of clusters that are expected under the null hypothesis. We also introduce a data diagnostic scheme to help ensure quality of the analysis, and demonstrate its use in the example studies. We show that we control the false clusters better than the widely used ALE method by performing numerical experiments, and that our clustering scheme results in more complete reporting of structures relevant to the functional task.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Mapping* / methods
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Functional Neuroimaging / methods
  • Functional Neuroimaging / standards*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic*

Grant support

Funding came from the University of Nottingham. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.