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World J Radiol. Jul 28, 2014; 6(7): 437-445
Published online Jul 28, 2014. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v6.i7.437
Recent developments in optimal experimental designs for functional magnetic resonance imaging
Ming-Hung Kao, M'hamed Temkit, Weng Kee Wong
Ming-Hung Kao, M’hamed Temkit, School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, United States
Weng Kee Wong, Department of Biostatistics, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, United States
Author contributions: Kao MH wrote the paper; Temkit M and Wong WK revised it critically for important intellectual content.
Correspondence to: Ming-Hung Kao, Assistant Professor of Statistics, School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Arizona State University, PO Box 871804, Tempe, AZ 85287, United States.
Telephone: +1-480-9653951 Fax: +1-480-9658119
Received: December 31, 2013
Revised: April 30, 2014
Accepted: May 28, 2014
Published online: July 28, 2014

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is one of the leading brain mapping technologies for studying brain activity in response to mental stimuli. For neuroimaging studies utilizing this pioneering technology, there is a great demand of high-quality experimental designs that help to collect informative data to make precise and valid inference about brain functions. This paper provides a survey on recent developments in experimental designs for fMRI studies. We briefly introduce some analytical and computational tools for obtaining good designs based on a specified design selection criterion. Research results about some commonly considered designs such as blocked designs, and m-sequences are also discussed. Moreover, we present a recently proposed new type of fMRI designs that can be constructed using a certain type of Hadamard matrices. Under certain assumptions, these designs can be shown to be statistically optimal. Some future research directions in design of fMRI experiments are also discussed.

Keywords: A-optimality, Blocked designs, Design efficiencies, D-optimality, Genetic algorithms, Hadamard sequences, M-sequences

Core tip: This paper provides an overview on recent developments in the design of functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments (fMRI). We discuss both analytical results and computational approaches that are currently available for selecting high-quality fMRI designs.