Test-retest reliability of graph metrics of resting state MRI functional brain networks: A review

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The employment of graph theory to analyze spontaneous fluctuations in resting state BOLD fMRI data has become a dominant theme in brain imaging studies and neuroscience. Analysis of resting state functional brain networks based on graph theory has proven to be a powerful tool to quantitatively characterize functional architecture of the brain and it has provided a new platform to explore the overall structure of local and global functional connectivity in the brain. Due to its increased use and possible expansion to clinical use, it is essential that the reliability of such a technique is very strongly assessed. In this review, we explore the outcome of recent studies in network reliability which apply graph theory to analyze connectome resting state networks. Therefore, we investigate which preprocessing steps may affect reproducibility the most. In order to investigate network reliability, we compared the test-retest (TRT) reliability of functional data of published neuroimaging studies with different preprocessing steps. In particular we tested influence of global signal regression, correlation metric choice, binary versus weighted link definition, frequency band selection and length of time-series. Statistical analysis shows that only frequency band selection and length of time-series seem to affect TRT reliability. Our results highlight the importance of the choice of the preprocessing steps to achieve more reproducible measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-192
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Connectivity
  • Functional brain networks
  • Graph theory
  • Meta-summary reliability analysis
  • Resting state fMRI
  • Review
  • Test-retest reliability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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