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January 13, 2021

Removing the Reliability Bottleneck in Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research to Achieve Clinical Utility

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for the Developing Brain, Child Mind Institute, New York, New York
  • 2Center for Biomedical Imaging and Neuromodulation, Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, New York
  • 3Institute for Computational Medicine, Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Psychiatry. Published online January 13, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.4272

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research seeks to inform psychiatric clinical practice. First, it seeks to improve scientific understanding of normative brain development, the perturbations that lead to mental illness, and the outcomes of interventions. Second, it seeks to develop clinical applications to guide individual-specific decisions (eg, diagnosis, treatment selection) and interventions (eg, brain-stimulation targeting). The maturation of fMRI has brought a critical prerequisite within reach: measurement of individual differences. We address critical gaps in measurement reliability, which, if not corrected, could jeopardize progress toward clinical utility.

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