This lesson is in the early stages of development (Alpha version)

Preprocessing fMRI Data


Teaching: 30 min
Exercises: 0 min
  • What are the standard preprocessing steps?

  • What existing pipelines help with preprocessing?

  • Understand the common preprocessing steps

Preprocessing Steps

T1w Preprocessing


Motion Correction

Slice Timing Correction

Susceptibility Distortion Correction

Artifact and Structured Noise Removal

Volume Censoring (Scrubbing)

Bandpass Filtering

Spatial Smoothing


Using fmriprep

fmriprep is a package developed by the Poldrack lab to do the minimal preprocessing of fMRI data required. It covers brain extraction, motion correction, field unwarping, and registration. It uses a combination of well-known software packages (e.g., FSL, SPM, ANTS, AFNI) and selects the ‘best’ implementation of each preprocessing step. Once installed, fmriprep can be invoked from the command line. We can even run it inside this notebook! The following command should work after you remove the ‘hashtag’ #. However, running fmriprep takes quite some time (we included the hashtag to prevent you from accidentally running it). You’ll most likely want to run it in parallel on a computing cluster.

Key Points

  • fmriprep takes care of several of the preprocessing steps