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It has been shown that the difference of squares cost function used by standard realignment packages (SPM and AIR) can lead to the detection of spurious activations, because the motion parameter estimations are biased by the activated areas. Therefore, this paper describes several experiments aiming at selecting a better similarity measure to drive functional magnetic resonance image registration. The behaviors of the Geman-McClure (GM) estimator, of the correlation ratio, and of the mutual information (MI) relative to activated areas are studied using simulated time series and actual data stemming from a 3 T magnet. It is shown that these methods are more robust than the usual difference of squares measure. The results suggest also that the measures built from robust metrics like the GM estimator may be the best choice, while MI is also an interesting solution. Some more work, however, is required to compare the various robust metrics proposed in the literature.
Date of Publication: May 2002