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CANlab_help_examples and second-level batch scripts

This repository is designed to accompany the CANlab Core Tools repository for neuroimaging data analysis. It includes:

  • How-to examples that publish HTML files with code and output, focusing on the CANlab’s interactive object-oriented tools.
  • A set of modifiable batch scripts that provide a second-level neuroimaging analysis pipeline, which stores objects and variables with standard names and prints date-stamped HTML reports for analyses.

Running the examples also serves as a preliminary unit testing frame for the CANlab tools. Please document errors by posting issues on the CANlab Github page.

The batch script system is in the folder "Second_level_analysis_template_scripts". It provides a pipeline for generating analysis reports. It provides a "base package" of analyses based on simple scripts which are designed to be easy to modify and extend. They use CANlab objects so that the commands in the scripts are simple and high-level. The philosophy is centered around:

  • Interactive data analysis with objects, allowing flexibility
  • Re-use of code (objects and simple scripts) that is as well-vetted as possible and tested across users and contexts
  • Simple scripts that minimize coding errors and maximize readability and reusability
  • Date-stamped HTML reports with figures and statistics provide an archival record of analyses, are shareable, and ideally contain the information required to reproduce the analysis and write a publication
  • A package that contains a minimal dataset and the code (scripts) required to run an analyses facilitate sharing and reproducibility.

The "base package" currently provides five types of date-stamped HTML analysis reports:

'contrasts' : Coverage and univariate condition and contrast maps 'signatures' : Pre-defined brain 'signature' responses from CANlab 'svm' : Cross-validated Support Vector Machine analyses for each contrast 'bucknerlab' : Decomposition of each condition and contrast into loadings on resting-state network maps 'meta_analysis' : Tests of "pattern of interest" analyses and ROIs derived from CANlab meta-analyses

Batch scripts: Quick start, walkthrough, and help:

1 - Download the CANlab Core Tools repository for neuroimaging data analysis

2 - Open Matlab and change to the directory where you want to install the toolboxes (i.e., drag folder into Matlab cmd window)

3 - Run canlab_toolbox_setup.m (in Canlab_Core) by dragging the file from Finder/Explorer into Matlab

4 - Create an study analysis folder where you want to store data and analyses for a study

5 - Change to that folder in Matlab

6 - create a "data" subfolder in (basedir). Add MNI-space .nii/.img+.hdr files there.

7 - Run a_set_up_new_analysis_folder_and_scripts.m by typing "a_set_up_new_analysis_folder_and_scripts" in Matlab

Also, see the help documents/walkthrough in the canlab_help_examples repository. They are called:




Dependencies: These should be installed to use this toolbox

Matlab Matlab statistics toolbox Matlab signal processing toolbox Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM) software CANlab Core Tools repository CANlab Neuroimaging_Pattern_Masks repository matlab_bgl (graph theory) and spider (machine learning) toolboxes; included in the CANlab Core distribution

Getting help and additional information:

More information canb be found on the CANlab website, We also maintain a WIKI with more information on some of our toolboxes and fMRI analysis more generally, which is here. For more information on fMRI analysis generally, see Martin and Tor's online book and our free Coursera videos and classes Principles of fMRI Part 1 and Part 2 .

This is a list of other potential topics -- the help topics are still a work in progress:

Help example topics (work in progress)

Overview ————————————————————————————





Visualization ————————————————————————————






Data manipulation ————————————————————————————





Quality control ————————————————————————————


Analysis ————————————————————————————











Batch scripts: Desriptions of scripts and workflow

% Step 1: Create a main analysis folder and navigate there

% -------------------------------------------------------------------------

% Run:

a_set_up_new_analysis_folder_and_scripts % Creates local folders and copies in relevant scripts

% Step 2: Edit these files in you local analysis folder and save:

% -------------------------------------------------------------------------

study_info.json % File with study/author meta-data, for reports and archive

a_set_up_paths_always_run_first.m % Modify to specify your local analysis folder name

a2_set_default_options.m % Options used in various other scripts; change if desired, or not

prep_1b_prep_behavioral_data.m / prep_1b_example2.m % Optional: Modify one of these to load and attach behavioral data from files (e.g., from Excel)

prep_1_set_conditions_contrasts_colors.m % Modify: Specify image file subdirs, wildcards to locate images, condition names and contrasts across conditions

prep_1c_normalize_to_MNI.m % Optional script to modify and use only if data are not yet in MNI space; otherwise ignore

prep_0_batch_run_once.m % Batch script to run multiple prep_* scripts

% Step 3: Load and prepare contrast images and analyses:

% -------------------------------------------------------------------------

% You only need to run this once if it runs correctly. Relevant info

% is extracted from images and saved in standard variable names for

% reloading and results-on-demand later.

a_set_up_paths_always_run_first.m % Always run this first before you run other scripts.

% Runs: a2_set_default_options

prep_1b_prep_behavioral_data.m / prep_1b_example2.m % Optional: Run these load and attach behavioral data from files (e.g., from Excel)

prep_1_set_conditions_contrasts_colors.m % Modify to specify image file subdirectories, wildcards to locate images, condition names

prep_2_load_image_data_and_save.m % Load image data into fmri_data objects and save

prep_3_calc_univariate_contrast_maps_and_save.m % Apply contrasts to fmri_data objects

prep_3a_run_second_level_regression_and_save.m % [Optional] if you have entered continuous regressors in prep_1b, run regression

prep_3b_run_SVMs_on_contrasts_and_save.m % [Optional] run cross-val SVMs on within-person contrasts

prep_3c_run_SVMs_on_contrasts_masked.m % [Optional] run cross-val SVMs on within-person contrasts, within a mask

prep_3d_run_SVM_betweenperson_contrasts.m % [Optional] run cross-val SVMs on within-person contrasts, within a mask% [Optional] run cross-val SVMs across conditions, assuming subjects nested within conditions (e.g., if diff conditions are diff subjects)

prep_4_apply_signatures_and_save.m % Apply CANlab signature patterns and attach output (values) to DAT

prep_5_apply_shen_parcellation_and_save.m % [Optional] Extract data from each condition/contrast averaged over each parcel, save file with values

prep_5b_apply_spmanatomy_parcellation_and_save.m % [Optional] Extract data from each condition/contrast averaged over each parcel, save file with values

prep_6_apply_kragel_emotion_signatures_and_save.m % [Optional] Apply Kragel emotion signature patterns and attach output (values) to DAT

% An alternative, once you feel comfortable with the setup, is to run a % batch script with this sequence. % All scripts with "publish" in the name print date-stamped HTML reports.


% Step 4: Run scripts to generate on-demand results:

% -------------------------------------------------------------------------

% Always "set up paths" and "reload" before you do anything else. After

% that, these scripts should (theoretically) be runnable in any order to

% generate figures and tables of results. The scripts use simple commands

% and are designed to be guides for you to add your own custom scripts if

% you want to, and to pick and choose for your study.


% Think of them as a menu of items that you may want to run. Batch scripts

% (below) run collections of these scripts and group them into published

% HTML reports.

a_set_up_paths_always_run_first.m % Always run this first before you run other scripts.

b_reload_saved_matfiles.m % Run this to reload saved and prepped files [Do not modify]

b1_behavioral_analysis.m % Optional: Modify/customize for your study. The default script is an example only.

% For all the scripts below, you can run them "out of the box" without % customizing them for your study, as long as your prep_* scripts have run % correctly and you have reloaded data with a_set_up_paths_always_run_first + b_reload_saved_matfiles

b2_show_data_vs_underlay.m % Show first condition image over canonical brain to check registration and coverage.

c2_SVM_contrasts.m % Show SVM results (from prep_3b_run_SVMs_on_contrasts_and_save)

c2_SVM_contrasts_masked.m % Show SVM results (from prep_3b_run_SVMs_on_contrasts_masked)

c2a_second_level_regression.m % Show regression results (from prep_3a_run_second_level_regression_and_save)

c2b_SVM_betweenperson_contrasts.m % Show SVM results (from prep_3d_run_SVM_betweenperson_contrasts)

c2c_SVM_between_condition_contrasts.m % Show SVM results (run-on-demand, no prep script yet)

c2d_lassoPCR_contrasts.m % Multivariate cross-validated regression results (for, e.g., linear contrasts across multiple conditions)

c_univariate_contrast_maps.m % Show voxel-wise maps for all contrasts, FDR-corrected and uncorrected; tables

c3_univariate_contrast_maps_scaleddata.m % Show voxel-wise contrast maps for scaled/cleaned data

c4_univ_contrast_wedge_plot_and_lateralization_test.m % Test contrasts and lateralization across 16 large-scale rsFMRI networks with L/R divisions


d1_pain_signature_responses_dotproduct.m % Test and report extracted "signature" responses (from prep_4_apply_signatures_and_save)

d2_pain_signature_responses.m % Test and report extracted "signature" responses with cosine_similarity metric (from prep_4_apply_signatures_and_save)

d3_plot_nps_subregions.m % Test and report Neurologic Pain Signature subregions (from prep_4_apply_signatures_and_save)


d4_compare_NPS_SIIPS_scaling_similarity_metrics.m % Test and report extracted "signature" responses with multiple similarity metrics (from prep_4_apply_signatures_and_save)





d9_nps_correlations_with_global_signal.m % Test and report NPS correlations with extracted global gray/white/CSF averages

d10_signature_riverplots.m % "River plots" show relationships between each condition (and contrast) and a set of "signatures"

d11_signature_similarity_barplots.m % Bar plots showing relationships between each condition (and contrast) and a set of "signatures"




f2_bucknerlab_network_barplots.m % Contrasts analyzed according to 7 Buckner Lab cortical networks from Yeo et al. 2011



h2_group_differences_emosignatures.m % Group differences in signatures, using "Group" variable in DAT. See prep_1b_prep_behavioral_data.m





k_emotionmeta_pattern_and_region_analyses.m % For contrasts, pattern of interest and region-of-interest analyses defined based on Silvers, Buhle et al. emotion regulation meta-analysis

% Step 5: Run batch scripts that publish date-stamped HTML reports

% -------------------------------------------------------------------------

% These run and save reports in the "published_output" subfolder in your analysis directory

% This allows for archiving and records of the analysis history.

% This batch script allows you to run a menu of different sets of results

% (contrasts, svm analyses, signature analyses, etc.) in any order:


% This batch script runs both the data load batch and all results:


% These batch scripts are run in "publish" scripsts. You can run them on

% their own, too, but "set up paths" and "reload" first.







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