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Active Acquisition for multimodal neuroimaging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145
JournalWellcome Open Research
Accepted/In press14 Nov 2018


King's Authors


In many clinical and scientific situations the optimal neuroimaging sequence may not be known prior to scanning and may differ for each individual being scanned, depending on the exact nature and location of abnormalities. Despite this, the standard approach to data acquisition, in such situations, is to specify the sequence of neuroimaging scans prior to data acquisition and to apply the same scans to all individuals. In this paper, we propose and illustrate an alternative approach, in which data would be analysed as it is acquired and used to choose the future scanning sequence: Active Acquisition. We propose three Active Acquisition scenarios based around multiple MRI modalities. In Scenario 1, we propose a simple use of near-real time analysis to decide whether to acquire more or higher resolution data, or acquire data with a different field-of-view. In Scenario 2, we simulate how multimodal MR data could be actively acquired and combined with a decision tree to classify a known outcome variable (in the simple example here, age). In Scenario 3, we simulate using Bayesian optimisation to actively search across multiple MRI modalities to find those which are most abnormal. These simulations suggest that by actively acquiring data, the scanning sequence can be adapted to each individual. We also consider the many outstanding practical and technical challenges involving normative data acquisition, MR physics, statistical modelling and clinical relevance. Despite these, we argue that Active Acquisition allows for potentially far more powerful, sensitive or rapid data acquisition, and may open up different perspectives on individual differences, clinical conditions, and biomarker discovery.

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