Real time functional MRI training to decrease motion in imaging studies: Lack of significant improvement

Bull Menninger Clin. 2016 Fall;80(4):348-356. doi: 10.1521/bumc.2016.80.4.348.


Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is widely used to study brain circuitry in healthy controls and in psychiatry. A major problem of fMRI studies is motion, which affects the quality of images, is a major source of noise, and can confound data if, for example, the experimental groups move differently. Despite continual reminders to experimental subjects about keeping still, however, movement in the scanner remains a problem. The authors hypothesized that showing head movement during a scanning session may help subjects learn how to keep their head still. The authors scanned subjects and displayed in real time a plot of head movement that had three regions. The authors found, in a limited sample, that the improvements were marginal and inconsistent. Thus, they concluded that this strategy, even if likely to work for some people, is probably not sufficiently successful to be implemented at this time.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Feedback, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Head Movements*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / standards*
  • Male