Recent developments in optimal experimental designs for functional magnetic resonance imaging

World J Radiol. 2014 Jul 28;6(7):437-45. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v6.i7.437.


Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is one of the leading brain mapping technologies for studying brain activity in response to mental stimuli. For neuroimaging studies utilizing this pioneering technology, there is a great demand of high-quality experimental designs that help to collect informative data to make precise and valid inference about brain functions. This paper provides a survey on recent developments in experimental designs for fMRI studies. We briefly introduce some analytical and computational tools for obtaining good designs based on a specified design selection criterion. Research results about some commonly considered designs such as blocked designs, and m-sequences are also discussed. Moreover, we present a recently proposed new type of fMRI designs that can be constructed using a certain type of Hadamard matrices. Under certain assumptions, these designs can be shown to be statistically optimal. Some future research directions in design of fMRI experiments are also discussed.

Keywords: A-optimality; Blocked designs; D-optimality; Design efficiencies; Genetic algorithms; Hadamard sequences; M-sequences.

Publication types

  • Review