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Optimising experimental design for MEG resting state functional connectivity measurement

Liuzzi, Lucrezia; Gascoyne, Lauren E.; Tewarie, Prejaas K.; Barratt, Eleanor L.; Boto, Elena; Brookes, Matthew J.


Lucrezia Liuzzi

Prejaas K. Tewarie

Eleanor L. Barratt


The study of functional connectivity using magnetoencephalography (MEG) is an expanding area of neuroimaging, and adds an extra dimension to the more common assessments made using fMRI. The importance of such metrics is growing, with recent demonstrations of their utility in clinical research, however previous reports suggest that whilst group level resting state connectivity is robust, single session recordings lack repeatability. Such robustness is critical if MEG measures in individual subjects are to prove clinically valuable. In the present paper, we test how practical aspects of experimental design affect the intra-subject repeatability of MEG findings; specifically we assess the effect of co-registration method and data recording duration. We show that the use of a foam head-cast, which is known to improve co-registration accuracy, increased significantly the between session repeatability of both beamformer reconstruction and connectivity estimation. We also show that recording duration is a critical parameter, with large improvements in repeatability apparent when using ten minute, compared to five minute recordings. Further analyses suggest that the origin of this latter effect is not underpinned by technical aspects of source reconstruction, but rather by a genuine effect of brain state; short recordings are simply inefficient at capturing the canonical MEG network in a single subject. Our results provide important insights on experimental design and will prove valuable for future MEG connectivity studies.


Liuzzi, L., Gascoyne, L. E., Tewarie, P. K., Barratt, E. L., Boto, E., & Brookes, M. J. (2017). Optimising experimental design for MEG resting state functional connectivity measurement. NeuroImage, 155, 565-576.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 25, 2016
Online Publication Date Nov 27, 2016
Publication Date Jul 15, 2017
Deposit Date Feb 21, 2017
Publicly Available Date Nov 28, 2017
Journal NeuroImage
Print ISSN 1053-8119
Electronic ISSN 1053-8119
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 155
Pages 565-576
Keywords Functional connectivity; Networks; Magnetoencephalography; MEG; Resting State; Beamformer
Public URL
Publisher URL


BFConn_Reproducability_review_FINAL.pdf (1.6 Mb)

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