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A multi-measure approach for assessing the performance of fMRI preprocessing strategies in resting-state functional connectivity

Kassinopoulos, M; Mitsis, GD; (2022) A multi-measure approach for assessing the performance of fMRI preprocessing strategies in resting-state functional connectivity. Magnetic Resonance Imaging , 85 pp. 228-250. 10.1016/j.mri.2021.10.028.

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Abstract

It is well established that head motion and physiological processes (e.g. cardiac and breathing activity) should be taken into consideration when analyzing and interpreting results in fMRI studies. However, even though recent studies aimed to evaluate the performance of different preprocessing pipelines there is still no consensus on the optimal strategy. This is partly due to the fact that the quality control (QC) metrics used to evaluate differences in performance across pipelines have often yielded contradictory results. Furthermore, preprocessing techniques based on physiological recordings or data decomposition techniques (e.g. aCompCor) have not been comprehensively examined. Here, to address the aforementioned issues, we propose a framework that summarizes the scores from eight previously proposed and novel QC metrics to a reduced set of two QC metrics that reflect the signal-to-noise ratio and the reduction in motion artifacts and biases in the preprocessed fMRI data. Using this framework, we evaluate the performance of three commonly used practices on the quality of data: 1) Removal of nuisance regressors from fMRI data, 2) discarding motion-contaminated volumes (i.e., scrubbing) before regression, and 3) low-pass filtering the data and the nuisance regressors before their removal. Using resting-state fMRI data from the Human Connectome Project, we show that the scores of the examined QC metrics improve the most when the global signal (GS) and about 17% of principal components from white matter (WM) are removed from the data. Finally, we observe a small further improvement with low-pass filtering at 0.20 Hz and milder variants of WM denoising, but not with scrubbing.

Type: Article
Title: A multi-measure approach for assessing the performance of fMRI preprocessing strategies in resting-state functional connectivity
DOI: 10.1016/j.mri.2021.10.028
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2021.10.028
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: aCompCor, Physiological noise, fMRI artifacts, Noise correction techniques, FIXMotion biases
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10139121
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