SimTB, a simulation toolbox for fMRI data under a model of spatiotemporal separability

Research Area: Research Year: 2012
Type of Publication: Article Keywords: Simulation; fMRI; Group analysis
Authors: Erhardt, EB; Allen, Elena; Wei, Y; Eichele, Tom; Calhoun, VD
We introduce SimTB, a MATLAB toolbox designed to simulate functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) datasets underamodel of spatiotemporalseparability. The toolbox meets the increasing need of the fMRI community to more comprehensively understand the effects of complex processing strategies by providing a ground truth that estimation methods may be compared against. SimTB captures the fundamental structure of real data, but data generation is fully parameterized and fully controlled by the user, allowing for accurate and precise comparisons. The toolbox offers a wealth of options regarding the number and configuration of spatial sources, implementation of experimental paradigms, inclusion of tissue-specific properties, addition of noise and head movement, and much more. A straightforward data generation method and short computation time (3–10 seconds for each dataset) allow a practitioner to simulate and analyze many datasets to potentially understand a problem from many angles. Beginning MATLAB users can use the SimTB graphical user interface (GUI) to design and execute simulations while experienced users can write batch scripts to automate and customize this process. The toolbox is freely available at together with sample scripts and tutorials.
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