Rxivist logo

Variability in the analysis of a single neuroimaging dataset by many teams

By Rotem Botvinik-Nezer, Felix Holzmeister, Colin F. Camerer, Anna Dreber, Juergen Huber, Magnus Johannesson, Michael Kirchler, Roni Iwanir, JA Mumford, Alison Adcock, Paolo Avesani, Blazej Baczkowski, Aahana Bajracharya, Leah Bakst, Sheryl Ball, Marco Barilari, Nadège Bault, Derek Beaton, Julia Beitner, Roland Benoit, Ruud Berkers, Jamil Bhanji, Bharat Biswal, S. Bobadilla-Suarez, Tiago Bortolini, Katherine Bottenhorn, Alexander Bowring, Senne Braem, Hayley Brooks, Emily Brudner, Cristian Calderon, Julia Camilleri, Jaime Castrellon, Luca Cecchetti, Edna Cieslik, Zachary Cole, Olivier Collignon, Robert Cox, William Cunningham, Stefan Czoschke, Kamalaker Dadi, Charles Davis, Alberto De Luca, Mauricio Delgado, Lysia Demetriou, Jeffrey Dennison, Xin Di, Erin Dickie, Ekaterina Dobryakova, Claire Donnat, Juergen Dukart, Niall W. Duncan, Joke Durnez, Amr Eed, Simon Eickhoff, Andrew Erhart, Laura Fontanesi, G. Matthew Fricke, Adriana Galvan, Remi Gau, Sarah Genon, Tristan Glatard, Enrico Glerean, Jelle Goeman, Sergej Golowin, Carlos González-García, Krzysztof Gorgolewski, Cheryl Grady, Mikella Green, João Guassi Moreira, Olivia Guest, Shabnam Hakimi, J. Paul Hamilton, Roeland Hancock, Giacomo Handjaras, Bronson Harry, Colin Hawco, Peer Herholz, Gabrielle Herman, Stephan Heunis, Felix Hoffstaedter, Jeremy Hogeveen, Susan Holmes, Chuan-Peng Hu, Scott Huettel, Matthew Hughes, Vittorio Iacovella, Alexandru Iordan, Peder Isager, Ayse Ilkay Isik, Andrew Jahn, Matthew Johnson, Tom Johnstone, Michael Joseph, Anthony Juliano, Joseph Kable, Michalis Kassinopoulos, Cemal Koba, Xiang-Zhen Kong, Timothy Koscik, Nuri Erkut Kucukboyaci, Brice Kuhl, Sebastian Kupek, Angela Laird, Claus Lamm, Robert Langner, Nina Lauharatanahirun, Hongmi Lee, Sangil Lee, Alexander Leemans, Andrea Leo, Elise Lesage, Flora Li, Monica Li, Phui Cheng Lim, Evan Lintz, Schuyler Liphardt, Annabel Losecaat Vermeer, Bradley Love, Michael Mack, Norberto Malpica, Theo Marins, Camille Maumet, Kelsey McDonald, Joseph McGuire, Helena Melero, Adriana Méndez Leal, Benjamin Meyer, Kristin Meyer, Paul Mihai, Georgios Mitsis, Jorge Moll, Dylan Nielson, Gustav Nilsonne, Michael Notter, Emanuele Olivetti, Adrian Onicas, Paolo Papale, Kaustubh Patil, Jonathan E. Peelle, Alexandre Pérez, Doris Pischedda, Jean-Baptiste Poline, Yanina Prystauka, Shruti Ray, Patricia Reuter-Lorenz, Richard Reynolds, Emiliano Ricciardi, Jenny Rieck, Anais Rodriguez-Thompson, Anthony Romyn, Taylor Salo, Gregory Samanez-Larkin, Emilio Sanz-Morales, Margaret Schlichting, Douglas Schultz, Qiang Shen, Margaret Sheridan, Fu Shiguang, Jennifer Silvers, Kenny Skagerlund, Alec Smith, David Smith, Peter Sokol-Hessner, Simon Steinkamp, Sarah Tashjian, Bertrand Thirion, John Thorp, Gustav Tinghög, Loreen Tisdall, Steven Tompson, Claudio Toro-Serey, Juan Torre, Leonardo Tozzi, Vuong Truong, Luca Turella, Anna E. van’t Veer, Tom Verguts, Jean Vettel, Sagana Vijayarajah, Khoi Vo, Matthew Wall, Wouter D. Weeda, Susanne Weis, David White, David Wisniewski, Alba Xifra-Porxas, Emily Yearling, Sangsuk Yoon, Rui Yuan, Kenneth Yuen, Lei Zhang, Xu Zhang, Joshua Zosky, Thomas E. Nichols, Russell A. Poldrack, Tom Schonberg

Posted 15 Nov 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/843193

Data analysis workflows in many scientific domains have become increasingly complex and flexible. To assess the impact of this flexibility on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) results, the same dataset was independently analyzed by 70 teams, testing nine ex-ante hypotheses. The flexibility of analytic approaches is exemplified by the fact that no two teams chose identical workflows to analyze the data. This flexibility resulted in sizeable variation in hypothesis test results, even for teams whose statistical maps were highly correlated at intermediate stages of their analysis pipeline. Variation in reported results was related to several aspects of analysis methodology. Importantly, meta-analytic approaches that aggregated information across teams yielded significant consensus in activated regions across teams. Furthermore, prediction markets of researchers in the field revealed an overestimation of the likelihood of significant findings, even by researchers with direct knowledge of the dataset. Our findings show that analytic flexibility can have substantial effects on scientific conclusions, and demonstrate factors related to variability in fMRI. The results emphasize the importance of validating and sharing complex analysis workflows, and demonstrate the need for multiple analyses of the same data. Potential approaches to mitigate issues related to analytical variability are discussed.

Download data

  • Downloaded 4,945 times
  • Download rankings, all-time:
    • Site-wide: 687 out of 83,873
    • In neuroscience: 74 out of 14,943
  • Year to date:
    • Site-wide: 835 out of 83,873
  • Since beginning of last month:
    • Site-wide: 1,412 out of 83,873

Altmetric data


Downloads over time

Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide


PanLingua

Sign up for the Rxivist weekly newsletter! (Click here for more details.)


News