The "Task B problem" and other considerations in developmental functional neuroimaging

Jessica A. Church, Steven E. Petersen, Bradley L. Schlaggar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


Functional neuroimaging provides a remarkable tool to allow us to study cognition across the lifespan and in special populations in a safe way. However, experimenters face a number of methodological issues, and these issues are particularly pertinent when imaging children. This brief article discusses assessing task performance, strategies for dealing with group performance differences, controlling for movement, statistical power, proper atlas registration, and data analysis strategies. In addition, there will be discussion of two other topics that have important implications for interpreting fMRI data: the question of whether functional neuroanatomical differences between adults and children are the consequence of putative developmental neurovascular differences, and the issue of interpreting negative blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) signal change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852-862
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Group differences
  • Methods
  • Negative BOLD
  • fMRI


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