The Baby and the Bathwater: Signal and Noise in Psychiatric Neuroimaging
Led by John Krystal. Posted on 15 Jun 2016
On June 6, SRF advisor John Krystal of Yale University moderated a discussion among Alan Anticevic, Deanna Barch, Randy Buckner, and Daniel Weinberger on critical issues in the interpretation of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data in psychiatric research.
For some years now, the methodologists in the neuroimaging community have been working to resolve a well-known confounder in magnetic imaging (MRI) research: the fact that head movement and breathing are hard to control for. This issue was laid out in detail for the psychiatry research community in a recent review in the American Journal of Psychiatry by Daniel Weinberger and Eugenia Radulescu of the Lieber Institute for Brain Development. They mention other confounders to contemplate, writing that factors such as smoking, medical comorbidities, drugs, and perhaps even the experience of being in an MRI machine vary between patients and control groups, and conclude that, "the evidence that findings are neurobiologically meaningful is inconclusive and [these] may represent artifacts or epiphenomena of uncertain value."