Contrasting functional imaging parametric maps: The mislocation problem and alternative solutions
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Mathieu Bourguignon, Nicola Molinaro, Vincent Wens, Contrasting functional imaging parametric maps: The mislocation problem and alternative solutions, NeuroImage, Volume 169, 1 April 2018, Pages 200-211, ISSN 1053-8119, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.12.033.
In the field of neuroimaging, researchers often resort to contrasting parametric maps to identify differences between conditions or populations. Unfortunately, contrast patterns mix effects related to amplitude and location differences and tend to peak away from sources of genuine brain activity to an extent that scales with the smoothness of the maps. Here, we illustrate this mislocation problem on source maps reconstructed from magnetoencephalographic recordings and propose a novel, dedicated location-comparison method. In realistic simulations, contrast mislocation was on average ~10mm when genuine sources were placed at the same location, and was still above 5mm when sources were 20mm apart. The dedicated location-comparison method achieved a sensitivity of ~90% when inter-source distance was 12 mm. Its benefit is also illustrated on real brain-speech entrainment data. In conclusion, contrasts of parametric maps provide precarious information for source location. To specifically address the question of location difference, one should turn to dedicated methods as the one proposed here.