Permutation-based true discovery proportions for functional magnetic resonance imaging cluster analysis

Stat Med. 2023 Jun 30;42(14):2311-2340. doi: 10.1002/sim.9725. Epub 2023 Apr 22.


We propose a permutation-based method for testing a large collection of hypotheses simultaneously. Our method provides lower bounds for the number of true discoveries in any selected subset of hypotheses. These bounds are simultaneously valid with high confidence. The methodology is particularly useful in functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging cluster analysis, where it provides a confidence statement on the percentage of truly activated voxels within clusters of voxels, avoiding the well-known spatial specificity paradox. We offer a user-friendly tool to estimate the percentage of true discoveries for each cluster while controlling the family-wise error rate for multiple testing and taking into account that the cluster was chosen in a data-driven way. The method adapts to the spatial correlation structure that characterizes functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging data, gaining power over parametric approaches.

Keywords: fMRI cluster analysis; multiple testing; permutation test; selective inference; true discovery proportion.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping* / methods
  • Brain*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging