The “Task B problem” and other considerations in developmental functional neuroimaging

Authors

  • Jessica A. Church,

    1. Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
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  • Steven E. Petersen,

    1. Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
    2. Department of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
    3. Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
    4. Department of Psychology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
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  • Bradley L. Schlaggar

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
    2. Department of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
    3. Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
    4. Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
    • Department of Neurology, Box 8111, 4525 Scott Avenue, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA
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Abstract

Functional neuroimaging provides a remarkable tool to allow us to study cognition across the lifespan and in special populations in a safe way. However, experimenters face a number of methodological issues, and these issues are particularly pertinent when imaging children. This brief article discusses assessing task performance, strategies for dealing with group performance differences, controlling for movement, statistical power, proper atlas registration, and data analysis strategies. In addition, there will be discussion of two other topics that have important implications for interpreting fMRI data: the question of whether functional neuroanatomical differences between adults and children are the consequence of putative developmental neurovascular differences, and the issue of interpreting negative blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) signal change. Hum Brain Mapp, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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