A task-related and resting state realistic fMRI simulator for fMRI data validation

Jason E. Hill, Xiangyu Liu, Brian Nutter, Sunanda Mitra

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


After more than 25 years of published functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, careful scrutiny reveals that most of the reported results lack fully decisive validation. The complex nature of fMRI data generation and acquisition results in unavoidable uncertainties in the true estimation and interpretation of both task-related activation maps and resting state functional connectivity networks, despite the use of various statistical data analysis methodologies. The goal of developing the proposed STANCE (Spontaneous and Task-related Activation of Neuronally Correlated Events) simulator is to generate realistic task-related and/or resting-state 4D blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signals, given the experimental paradigm and scan protocol, by using digital phantoms of twenty normal brains available from BrainWeb (http://brainweb.bic.mni.mcgill.ca/brainweb/). The proposed simulator will include estimated system and modelled physiological noise as well as motion to serve as a reference to measured brain activities. In its current form, STANCE is a MATLAB toolbox with command line functions serving as an open-source add-on to SPM8 (http://www.fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk/spm/software/spm8/). The STANCE simulator has been designed in a modular framework so that the hemodynamic response (HR) and various noise models can be iteratively improved to include evolving knowledge about such models.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2017
Subtitle of host publicationImage Processing
EditorsElsa D. Angelini, Martin A. Styner, Elsa D. Angelini
ISBN (Electronic)9781510607118
StatePublished - 2017
EventMedical Imaging 2017: Image Processing - Orlando, United States
Duration: Feb 12 2017Feb 14 2017

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceMedical Imaging 2017: Image Processing
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Correlation
  • FMRI
  • Hemodynamic response
  • Modeled ground-truth
  • Physiological noise
  • Resting state fMRI
  • Simulation


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