detecting longitudinal fMRI changes

Dear afni experts,

In longitudinal studies, MRI and fMRI images of a subject at different time points were collected.
We can normalize the anatomical images independently as in cross-sectional studies.
However, this method neglect the within-subject information in spatial normalization.
There are longitudinal pipelines for morphology measures such as in freesurfer.

Do you think it is necessary to optimize the registration in longitudinal fMRI studies?
if so, is it possible to optimize the registration issue in longitudinal fMRI studies using existing tools in AFNI?

Thanks very much!

Although we don’t have a premade pipeline for this, it is certainly possible with AFNI tools. You can align all your anatomical datasets to a specific time point or to an “in-between” time point. You can use this reference anatomy instead of a standard MNI or Talairach template or use a standard space template as an additional step. For an example with just two time points, see this link: