Reproducibility of R-fMRI Metrics on the Impact of Different Strategies for Multiple Comparison Correction and Sample Sizes [article]

Xiao Chen, Bin Lu, Chao-Gan Yan
2017 bioRxiv   pre-print
Concerns regarding reproducibility of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (R-fMRI) findings have been raised. Little is known about how to operationally define R-fMRI reproducibility and to what extent it is affected by multiple comparison correction strategies and sample size. We comprehensively assessed two aspects of reproducibility, test-retest reliability and replicability, on widely used R-fMRI metrics in both between-subject contrasts of sex differences and within-subject
more » ... comparisons of eyes-open and eyes-closed (EOEC) conditions. We noted permutation test with Threshold-Free Cluster Enhancement (TFCE), a strict multiple comparison correction strategy, reached the best balance between family-wise error rate (under 5%) and test-retest reliability/replicability (e.g., 0.68 for test-retest reliability and 0.25 for replicability of amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) for between-subject sex differences, 0.49 for replicability of ALFF for within-subject EOEC differences). Although R-fMRI indices attained moderate reliabilities, they replicated poorly in distinct datasets (replicability < 0.3 for between-subject sex differences, < 0.5 for within-subject EOEC differences). By randomly drawing different sample sizes from a single site, we found reliability, sensitivity and positive predictive value (PPV) rose as sample size increased. Small sample sizes (e.g., < 80 (40 per group)) not only minimized power (sensitivity < 2%), but also decreased the likelihood that significant results reflect "true" effects (PPV < 0.26) in sex differences. Our findings have implications for how to select multiple comparison correction strategies and highlight the importance of sufficiently large sample sizes in R-fMRI studies to enhance reproducibility.
doi:10.1101/128645 fatcat:ixa3zlimvfbo3n4i5zcxbbr2hq