A multi-dataset evaluation of frame censoring for task-based fMRI
Date created: | Last Updated:
: DOI | ARK
Creating DOI. Please wait...
Description: Subject motion during fMRI can affect our ability to accurately measure signals of interest. In recent years, frame censoring—that is, statistically excluding motion-contaminated data within the general linear model using nuisance regressors—has appeared in several task-based fMRI studies as a mitigation strategy. However, there have been few systematic investigations quantifying its efficacy. In the present study, we compared the performance of frame censoring to several other common motion correction approaches for task-based fMRI using open data and reproducible workflows. Eight datasets were chosen representing eleven tasks in child, adolescent, and adult participants. Performance was quantified using maximum t-values in group analyses, and ROI-based mean activation and split-half reliability in single subjects. We compared frame censoring to the use of 6 and 24 canonical motion regressors, wavelet despiking, robust weighted least squares, and untrained ICA-based denoising. Thresholds used to identify censored frames were based on both motion estimates (FD) and image intensity changes (DVARS). Relative to standard motion regressors, we found consistent improvements for modest amounts of frame censoring (e.g., 1–2% data loss), although these gains were frequently comparable to what could be achieved using other techniques. Importantly, no single approach consistently outperformed the others across all datasets and tasks. These findings suggest that although frame censoring can improve results, the choice of a motion mitigation strategy depends on the dataset and the metric of interest. None of the methods investigated is unequivocally optimal in all situations.