, Volume 75, Issue 2, pp 373–390 | Cite as

Optimization of Blocked Designs in fMRI Studies

  • Bärbel MausEmail author
  • Gerard J. P. van Breukelen
  • Rainer Goebel
  • Martijn P. F. Berger


Blocked designs in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are useful to localize functional brain areas. A blocked design consists of different blocks of trials of the same stimulus type and is characterized by three factors: the length of blocks, i.e., number of trials per blocks, the ordering of task and rest blocks, and the time between trials within one block. Optimal design theory was applied to find the optimal combination of these three design factors. Furthermore, different error structures were used within a general linear model for the analysis of fMRI data, and the maximin criterion was applied to find designs which are robust against misspecification of model parameters.


blocked design fMRI optimal design efficiency maximin 


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Copyright information

© The Psychometric Society 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bärbel Maus
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gerard J. P. van Breukelen
    • 2
  • Rainer Goebel
    • 3
  • Martijn P. F. Berger
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Department of Methodology and StatisticsMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtNetherlands
  2. 2.Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Department of Methodology and StatisticsMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtNetherlands
  3. 3.Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Department of Cognitive NeuroscienceMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtNetherlands

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