WIAS Preprint No. 2806, (2021)

Utilizing anatomical information for signal detection in functional magnetic resonance imaging


  • Neumann, André
  • Peitek, Norman
  • Brechmann, André
  • Tabelow, Karsten
    ORCID: 0000-0003-1274-9951
  • Dickhaus, Thorsten

2020 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 62J15 62P10 62-07


  • Aparc label, combination test, false discovery rate, family-wise error rate, mass-univariate linear model, multiple testing, program comprehension




We are considering the statistical analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. As demonstrated in previous work, grouping voxels into regions (of interest) and carrying out a multiple test for signal detection on the basis of these regions typically leads to a higher sensitivity when compared with voxel-wise multiple testing approaches. In the case of a multi-subject study, we propose to define the regions for each subject separately based on their individual brain anatomy, represented, e.g., by so-called Aparc labels. The aggregation of the subject-specific evidence for the presence of signals in the different regions is then performed by means of a combination function for p-values. We apply the proposed methodology to real fMRI data and demonstrate that our approach can perform comparably to a two-stage approach for which two independent experiments are needed, one for defining the regions and one for actual signal detection.

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