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posted on 05.03.2018 by Carla Caballero, Sejal Mistry, Joe Vero, Elizabeth B Torres

The variability inherently present in biophysical data is partly contributed by disparate sampling resolutions across instrumentations. This poses a potential problem for statistical inference using pooled data in open access repositories. Such repositories combine data collected from multiple research sites using variable sampling resolutions. One example is the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange repository containing thousands of imaging and demographic records from participants in the spectrum of autism and age-matched neurotypical controls. Further, statistical analyses of groups from different diagnoses and demographics may be challenging, owing to the disparate number of participants across different clinical subgroups. In this paper, we examine the noise signatures of head motion data extracted from resting state fMRI data harnessed under different sampling resolutions. We characterize the quality of the noise in the variability of the raw linear and angular speeds for different clinical phenotypes in relation to age-matched controls. Further, we use bootstrapping methods to ensure compatible group sizes for statistical comparison and report the ranges of physical involuntary head excursions of these groups. We conclude that different sampling rates do affect the quality of noise in the variability of head motion data and, consequently, the type of random process appropriate to characterize the time series data. Further, given a qualitative range of noise, from pink to brown noise, it is possible to characterize different clinical subtypes and distinguish them in relation to ranges of neurotypical controls. These results may be of relevance to the pre-processing stages of the pipeline of analyses of resting state fMRI data, whereby head motion enters the criteria to clean imaging data from motion artifacts.

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