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Unlearning Scanner Bias for MRI Harmonisation

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNIP,volume 12262)


Combining datasets is vital for increased statistical power, especially for neurological conditions where limited data is available. However, variance due to differences in acquisition protocol and hardware limits our ability to combine datasets. We propose an iterative training scheme based on domain adaptation techniques, aiming to create scanner-invariant features while simultaneously maintaining overall performance on the main task. We demonstrate this on age prediction, but expect that our proposed training scheme will be applicable to any feedforward network and classification or regression task. We show that not only can we harmonise three MRI datasets from different studies, but can also successfully adapt the training to work with very biased datasets. The training scheme should, therefore, be applicable to most real-world data scenarios, enabling harmonisation for the task of interest.


  • Harmonisation
  • Joint domain adaptation
  • MRI

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ND is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Medical Research Council (MRC) [grant number EP/L016052/1]. MJ is supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), and this research was funded by the Wellcome Trust [215573/Z/19/Z]. The Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging is supported by core funding from the Wellcome Trust [203139/Z/16/Z]. AN is grateful for support from the UK Royal Academy of Engineering under the Engineering for Development Research Fellowships scheme.The computational aspects of this research were supported by the Wellcome Trust Core Award [Grant Number 203141/Z/16/Z] and the NIHR Oxford BRC. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

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Correspondence to Nicola K. Dinsdale .

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Dinsdale, N.K., Jenkinson, M., Namburete, A.I.L. (2020). Unlearning Scanner Bias for MRI Harmonisation. In: , et al. Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention – MICCAI 2020. MICCAI 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 12262. Springer, Cham.

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