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Neuroskeptic: People move around a lot during fMRI brain scans


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Another reason brain scans yield questionable psychiatric data. http://neuroskeptic.blogspot.com/2012/08/brains-in-motion-are-bad-for.html

 

Brains In Motion Are Bad For Neuroscience

Neuroskeptic blog 7 August 2012

A new paper in Human Brain Mapping reports on: Functional magnetic resonance imaging movers and shakers: Does subject-movement cause sampling bias?

 

Head movement is a well known problem that can badly impact the quality of neuroimaging data, introducing spurious signals and obscuring real ones. It's an issue for all brain scanning research but according to Wylie and colleagues, authors of this paper, it's especially serious for studies comparing disease patients to healthy controls.

 

And the more people moved, the less brain activity was recorded, probably because movement degraded the data quality.

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Informally, every neuroimaging researcher knows that some people move more than others. Learning to spot likely "movers" and avoid wasting money on scanning them is a fine art. In my experience just about every "patient" population move, on average, more than healthy controls, and children and the elderly move more than young adults.

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This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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