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A test-retest reliability analysis of diffusion measures of white matter tracts relevant for cognitive control

Publication year 2017
Published in Psychophysiology
Authors W Boekel, Birte Forstmann, Max C Keuken

Recent efforts to replicate structural brain-behavior correlations have called into question the replicability of structural brain measures used in cognitive neuroscience. Here, we report an evaluation of test-retest reliability of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) measures, including fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, axial diffusivity, and radial diffusivity, in several white matter tracts previously shown to be involved in cognitive control. In a data set consisting of 34 healthy participants scanned twice on a single day, we observe overall stability of DTI measures. This stability remained in a subset of participants who were also scanned a third time on the same day as well as in a 2-week follow-up session. We conclude that DTI measures in these tracts show relative stability, and that alternative explanations for the recent failures of replication must be considered.

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