Agito ergo sum: Correlates of spatio-temporal motion characteristics during fMRI

Thomas A.W. Bolton*, Valeria Kebets, Enrico Glerean, Daniela Zöller, Jingwei Li, B. T.Thomas Yeo, César Caballero-Gaudes, Dimitri Van De Ville

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


The impact of in-scanner motion on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data has a notorious reputation in the neuroimaging community. State-of-the-art guidelines advise to scrub out excessively corrupted frames as assessed by a composite framewise displacement (FD) score, to regress out models of nuisance variables, and to include average FD as a covariate in group-level analyses. Here, we studied individual motion time courses at time points typically retained in fMRI analyses. We observed that even in this set of putatively clean time points, motion exhibited a very clear spatio-temporal structure, so that we could distinguish subjects into separate groups of movers with varying characteristics. Then, we showed that this spatio-temporal motion cartography tightly relates to a broad array of anthropometric and cognitive factors. Convergent results were obtained from two different analytical perspectives: univariate assessment of behavioural differences across mover subgroups unraveled defining markers, while subsequent multivariate analysis broadened the range of involved factors and clarified that multiple motion/behaviour modes of covariance overlap in the data. Our results demonstrate that even the smaller episodes of motion typically retained in fMRI analyses carry structured, behaviourally relevant information. They call for further examinations of possible biases in current regression-based motion correction strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116433
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Behaviour
  • Motion artefacts
  • Partial least squares analysis
  • Resting-state fMRI
  • Spatio-temporal motion

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