Reproducibility and temporal structure in weekly resting-state fMRI over a period of 3.5 years

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59 Scopus citations


Resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) permits study of the brain's functional networks without requiring participants to perform tasks. Robust changes in such resting state networks (RSNs) have been observed in neurologic disorders, and rs-fMRI outcome measures are candidate biomarkers for monitoring clinical trials, including trials of extended therapeutic interventions for rehabilitation of patients with chronic conditions. In this study, we aim to present a unique longitudinal dataset reporting on a healthy adult subject scanned weekly over 3.5 years and identify rs-fMRI outcome measures appropriate for clinical trials. Accordingly, we assessed the reproducibility, and characterized the temporal structure of, rs-fMRI outcome measures derived using independent component analysis (ICA). Data was compared to a 21-person dataset acquired on the same scanner in order to confirm that the values of the single-subject RSN measures were within the expected range as assessed from the multi-participant dataset. Fourteen RSNs were identified, and the inter-session reproducibility of outcome measures-network spatial map, temporal signal fluctuation magnitude, and between-network connectivity (BNC)-was high, with executive RSNs showing the highest reproducibility. Analysis of the weekly outcome measures also showed that many rs-fMRI outcome measures had a significant linear trend, annual periodicity, and persistence. Such temporal structure was most prominent in spatial map similarity, and least prominent in BNC. High reproducibility supports the candidacy of rs-fMRI outcome measures as biomarkers, but the presence of significant temporal structure needs to be taken into account when such outcome measures are considered as biomarkers for rehabilitationstyle therapeutic interventions in chronic conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number0140134
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 30 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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