Previous studies on event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging experimental designs are primarily based on linear models, in which a known shape of the hemodynamic response function (HRF) is assumed. However, the HRF shape is usually uncertain at the design stage. To address this issue, we consider a nonlinear model to accommodate a wide spectrum of feasible HRF shapes, and propose efficient approaches for obtaining maximin and maximin-efficient designs. Our approaches involve a reduction in the parameter space and a search algorithm that helps to efficiently search over a restricted class of designs for good designs. The obtained designs are compared with traditional designs widely used in practice. We also demonstrate the usefulness of our approaches via a motivating example.
"Maximin and maximin-efficient event-related fMRI designs under a nonlinear model." Ann. Appl. Stat. 7 (4) 1940 - 1959, December 2013. https://doi.org/10.1214/13-AOAS658