Functional neuroimaging of treatment effects in psychiatry: methodological challenges and recommendations.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has helped to elucidate the neurobiological bases of psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders by localizing etiologically-relevant aberrations in brain function. Functional MRI also has shown great promise to help understand potential mechanisms of action of effective treatments for a range of psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, including mood and anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and autism. However, the use of fMRI to probe intervention effects in psychiatry is associated with unique methodological considerations, including the psychometric properties of repeated fMRI scans, how to assess potential relations between the effects of an intervention on symptoms and on specific brain activation patterns, and how to best make causal inferences about intervention effects on brain function. Additionally, the study of treatment effects in neurodevelopmental disorders presents additional unique challenges related to brain maturation, analysis methods, and the potential for motion artifacts. We review these methodological considerations and provide recommendations for best practices for each of these topics.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dichter, GS; Sikich, L; Song, A; Voyvodic, J; Bodfish, JW

Published Date

  • September 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 122 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 483 - 493

PubMed ID

  • 22471393

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5650475

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1563-5279

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3109/00207454.2012.678446


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England