Save the global: global signal connectivity as a tool for studying clinical populations with functional magnetic resonance imaging

Avital Hahamy, Vince Calhoun, Godfrey Pearlson, Michal Harel, Nachum Stern, Fanny Attar, Rafael Malach, Roy Salomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations

Abstract

The global signal is commonly removed from resting-state data, as it was presumed to reflect physiological noise. However, removal of the global signal is now under debate, as this signal may reflect important neuronal components, and its removal may introduce artifacts into the data. Here, we show that the functional connectivity (FC) of the global signal is of functional relevance, as it differentiates between schizophrenia patients and healthy controls during rest. We also demonstrate that other reported findings related to various clinical populations may actually reflect alternations in global signal FC. The evidence of the clinical relevance of the global signal propose its usage as a research tool, and extend previously reported perils of global signal removal in resting-state data of clinical populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-403
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Connectivity
Volume4
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes

Funding

FundersFunder number
1 Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of ScienceR01 MH074797-01, 2R01 EB000840, R37 MH43775
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and BioengineeringR01EB000840

    Keywords

    • fMRI
    • functional connectivity
    • global signal
    • neuroimaging
    • resting state
    • schizophrenia

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