Which multiband factor should you choose for your resting-state fMRI study?

Benjamin B. Risk, Raphiel J. Murden, Junjie Wu, Mary Beth Nebel, Arun Venkataraman, Zhengwu Zhang, Deqiang Qiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiband acquisition, also called simultaneous multislice, has become a popular technique in resting-state functional connectivity studies. Multiband (MB) acceleration leads to a higher temporal resolution but also leads to spatially heterogeneous noise amplification, suggesting the costs may be greater in areas such as the subcortex. We evaluate MB factors of 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, and 12 with 2 mm isotropic voxels, and additionally 2 mm and 3.3 mm single-band acquisitions, on a 32-channel head coil. Noise amplification was greater in deeper brain regions, including subcortical regions. Correlations were attenuated by noise amplification, which resulted in spatially varying biases that were more severe at higher MB factors. Temporal filtering decreased spatial biases in correlations due to noise amplification, but also tended to decrease effect sizes. In seed-based correlation maps, left-right putamen connectivity and thalamo-motor connectivity were highest in the single-band 3.3 mm protocol. In correlation matrices, MB 4, 6, and 8 had a greater number of significant correlations than the other acquisitions (both with and without temporal filtering). We recommend single-band 3.3 mm for seed-based subcortical analyses, and MB 4 provides a reasonable balance for studies analyzing both seed-based correlation maps and connectivity matrices. In multiband studies including secondary analyses of large-scale datasets, we recommend reporting effect sizes or test statistics instead of correlations. If correlations are reported, temporal filtering (or another method for thermal noise removal) should be used. The Emory Multiband Dataset is available on OpenNeuro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117965
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • Acceleration
  • Functional connectivity
  • Noise amplification
  • Putamen
  • Simultaneous multislice
  • Subcortical
  • Temporal resolution
  • Thalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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