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Investigating the group-level impact of advanced dual-echo fMRI combinations


Kettinger, Ádám; Hill, Christopher; Vidnyánszky, Zoltán; Windischberger, Christian; Nagy, Zoltán (2016). Investigating the group-level impact of advanced dual-echo fMRI combinations. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 10:571.

Abstract

Multi-echo fMRI data acquisition has been widely investigated and suggested to optimize sensitivity for detecting the BOLD signal. Several methods have also been proposed for the combination of data with different echo times. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether these advanced echo combination methods provide advantages over the simple averaging of echoes when state-of-the-art group-level random-effect analyses are performed. Both resting-state and task-based dual-echo fMRI data were collected from 27 healthy adult individuals (14 male, mean age = 25.75 years) using standard echo-planar acquisition methods at 3T. Both resting-state and task-based data were subjected to a standard image pre-processing pipeline. Subsequently the two echoes were combined as a weighted average, using four different strategies for calculating the weights: (1) simple arithmetic averaging, (2) BOLD sensitivity weighting, (3) temporal-signal-to-noise ratio weighting and (4) temporal BOLD sensitivity weighting. Our results clearly show that the simple averaging of data with the different echoes is sufficient. Advanced echo combination methods may provide advantages on a single-subject level but when considering random-effects group level statistics they provide no benefit regarding sensitivity (i.e., group-level t-values) compared to the simple echo-averaging approach. One possible reason for the lack of clear advantages may be that apart from increasing the average BOLD sensitivity at the single-subject level, the advanced weighted averaging methods also inflate the inter-subject variance. As the echo combination methods provide very similar results, the recommendation is to choose between them depending on the availability of time for collecting additional resting-state data or whether subject-level or group-level analyses are planned.

Abstract

Multi-echo fMRI data acquisition has been widely investigated and suggested to optimize sensitivity for detecting the BOLD signal. Several methods have also been proposed for the combination of data with different echo times. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether these advanced echo combination methods provide advantages over the simple averaging of echoes when state-of-the-art group-level random-effect analyses are performed. Both resting-state and task-based dual-echo fMRI data were collected from 27 healthy adult individuals (14 male, mean age = 25.75 years) using standard echo-planar acquisition methods at 3T. Both resting-state and task-based data were subjected to a standard image pre-processing pipeline. Subsequently the two echoes were combined as a weighted average, using four different strategies for calculating the weights: (1) simple arithmetic averaging, (2) BOLD sensitivity weighting, (3) temporal-signal-to-noise ratio weighting and (4) temporal BOLD sensitivity weighting. Our results clearly show that the simple averaging of data with the different echoes is sufficient. Advanced echo combination methods may provide advantages on a single-subject level but when considering random-effects group level statistics they provide no benefit regarding sensitivity (i.e., group-level t-values) compared to the simple echo-averaging approach. One possible reason for the lack of clear advantages may be that apart from increasing the average BOLD sensitivity at the single-subject level, the advanced weighted averaging methods also inflate the inter-subject variance. As the echo combination methods provide very similar results, the recommendation is to choose between them depending on the availability of time for collecting additional resting-state data or whether subject-level or group-level analyses are planned.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords:fMRI; multi-echo, random-effects analysis; signal dropout; EPI; inter-subject variance
Language:English
Date:December 2016
Deposited On:30 May 2017 13:00
Last Modified:06 Aug 2017 18:30
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1662-453X
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2016.00571
PubMed ID:28018165

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Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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