Functional Neuroimaging Group Studies

Authored by: Bertrand Thirion

Handbook of Neuroimaging Data Analysis

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781482220971
eBook ISBN: 9781315373652
Adobe ISBN:


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Most neuroimaging statistical problems deal with the comparison of sets of images that embed some features of brain structure or function across a group of subjects, with the purpose to detect some common effects across individuals or some differences across sub-populations. The most standard framework consists of comparing images on a voxel-by-voxel basis (or a vertex-by-vertex basis if the data is sampled on a mesh), after resampling in a common spatial referential, such as the referential defined by the Montreal NeuroImaging Institute (MNI) template (18), or a coordinate system on the cortical surface (7). This resampling is assumed to correct for pose and shape differences across individuals, so that possible remaining differences are related to the anatomical or functional feature of interest and not to a mere residual of between-subject registration. Note that this is an assumption, and that the limitations of the brain image coregistration procedures used for this purpose are key to understanding the difficulty of statistical inference in the context of neuroimaging group studies.

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