Evaluation of ICA-AROMA and alternative strategies for motion artifact removal in resting state fMRI

Neuroimage. 2015 May 15;112:278-287. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.02.063. Epub 2015 Mar 11.


We proposed ICA-AROMA as a strategy for the removal of motion-related artifacts from fMRI data (Pruim et al., 2015). ICA-AROMA automatically identifies and subsequently removes data-driven derived components that represent motion-related artifacts. Here we present an extensive evaluation of ICA-AROMA by comparing our strategy to a range of alternative strategies for motion-related artifact removal: (i) no secondary motion correction, (ii) extensive nuisance regression utilizing 6 or (iii) 24 realignment parameters, (iv) spike regression (Satterthwaite et al., 2013a), (v) motion scrubbing (Power et al., 2012), (vi) aCompCor (Behzadi et al., 2007; Muschelli et al., 2014), (vii) SOCK (Bhaganagarapu et al., 2013), and (viii) ICA-FIX (Griffanti et al., 2014; Salimi-Khorshidi et al., 2014), without re-training the classifier. Using three different functional connectivity analysis approaches and four different multi-subject resting-state fMRI datasets, we assessed all strategies regarding their potential to remove motion artifacts, ability to preserve signal of interest, and induced loss in temporal degrees of freedom (tDoF). Results demonstrated that ICA-AROMA, spike regression, scrubbing, and ICA-FIX similarly minimized the impact of motion on functional connectivity metrics. However, both ICA-AROMA and ICA-FIX resulted in significantly improved resting-state network reproducibility and decreased loss in tDoF compared to spike regression and scrubbing. In comparison to ICA-FIX, ICA-AROMA yielded improved preservation of signal of interest across all datasets. These results demonstrate that ICA-AROMA is an effective strategy for removing motion-related artifacts from rfMRI data. Our robust and generalizable strategy avoids the need for censoring fMRI data and reduces motion-induced signal variations in fMRI data, while preserving signal of interest and increasing the reproducibility of functional connectivity metrics. In addition, ICA-AROMA preserves the temporal non-artifactual time-series characteristics and limits the loss in tDoF, thereby increasing statistical power at both the subject- and the between-subject analysis level.

Keywords: Artifact; Connectivity; Functional MRI; Independent component analysis; Motion; Resting state.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Artifacts*
  • Child
  • Databases, Factual
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / statistics & numerical data*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / statistics & numerical data*
  • Motion
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Regression Analysis
  • Rest / physiology