Variability in fMRI: A re-examination of inter-session differences

Stephen M. Smith, Christian F. Beckmann, Narender Ramnani, Mark W. Woolrich, Peter R. Bannister, Mark Jenkinson, Paul M. Matthews, David J. McGonigle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Citations (Scopus)


We revisit a previous study on inter-session variability (McGonigle et al. [2000]: Neuroimage 11:708-734), showing that contrary to one popular interpretation of the original article, inter-session variability is not necessarily high. We also highlight how evaluating variability based on thresholded single-session images alone can be misleading. Finally, we show that the use of different first-level preprocessing, time-series statistics, and registration analysis methodologies can give significantly different inter-session analysis results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-257
Number of pages10
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Longitudinal studies
  • Reproducibility
  • Session variability
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this