Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

As the discipline of functional neuroimaging grows there is an increasing interest in meta analysis of brain imaging studies. A typical neuroimaging meta analysis collects peak activation coordinates (foci) from several studies and identifies areas of consistent activation. Most imaging meta analysis methods only produce null hypothesis inferences and do not provide an interpretable fitted model. To overcome these limitations, we propose a Bayesian spatial hierarchical model using a marked independent cluster process. We model the foci as offspring of a latent study center process, and the study centers are in turn offspring of a latent population center process. The posterior intensity function of the population center process provides inference on the location of population centers, as well as the inter-study variability of foci about the population centers. We illustrate our model with a meta analysis consisting of 437 studies from 164 publications, show how two subpopulations of studies can be compared and assess our model via sensitivity analyses and simulation studies. Supplemental materials are available online.

Original publication




Journal article


J Am Stat Assoc

Publication Date





124 - 134