SDM   Signed Differential Mapping
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Signed Differential Mapping
Meta-analytic methods for fMRI, VBM, DTI and PET
Software | Tutorial | Manual | Database | Web utilities | The people

New Anisotropic ES-SDM version 4.13 (Mar 2014) available - Click here to expand/contract this box -

Please replace older versions of SDM software by Anisotropic ES-SDM version 4.13, which includes the following new features:

  • Pre-processing of peaks is conducted taking into account the anisotropy in the spatial covariance, thus increasing the accuracy of the recreation of the effect size maps.
  • New masks and correlation templates have been added, e.g. for cerebrospinal fluid.
  • Higher compatibility with the use MNI instead of Talairach space, and *.nii.gz and *.txt files instead of *.sdm files.
  • One-sample studies (e.g. correlation with a measure) and two-sample studies (e.g. high vs. low measure) may be combined in a single meta-analysis
  • Many other improvements: I2 statistic is also reported, several meta-analyses may be conducted at the same time...

Please feel free to download the new software


Signed Differential Mapping is a statistical technique for meta-analyzing studies on differences in brain activity or structure which used neuroimaging techniques such as fMRI, VBM, DTI or PET. The methods have been fully validated in several studies (see references below), and meta-analyses using this method have been already published at the highest quality journals, such as Archives of General Psychiatry / JAMA Psychiatry link link link, the American Journal of Psychiatry link, Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews link link link link link link, Biological Psychiatry link link, Schizophrenia Bulletin link link, Current Opinion in Neurobiology link, Neuropsychopharmacology link, the British Journal of Psychiatry link, Neuroimage link, Human Brain Mapping link, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience link, Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience link, Psychological Medicine link link link or Neurobiology of Aging link.

The method

An introduction of the method can be found in the SDM Reference Manual.

Briefly, some of the features are:

The software

Please feel free to download the software created by the SDM Project to carry out such meta-analyses.


Papers introducing relevant SDM methods:

  1. Introduction to voxel-based meta-analyses: Radua J and Mataix-Cols D. Meta-analytic methods for neuroimaging data explained. Biol Mood Anxiety Disord 2012; 2:6. link
  2. SDM method 1/4 (original algorithms): Radua J and Mataix-Cols D. Voxel-wise meta-analysis of grey matter changes in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Br J Psychiatry 2009; 195:393-402. link
  3. SDM method 2/4 (comparisons and linear models): Radua J, van den Heuvel OA, Surguladze S and Mataix-Cols D. Meta-analytical comparison of voxel-based morphometry studies in obsessive compulsive disorder vs other anxiety disorders. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2010; 67:701-711. link
  4. SDM method 3/4 (effect-sizes and variances): Radua J, Mataix-Cols D, Phillips ML, El-Hage W, Kronhaus DM, Cardoner N and Surguladze S. A new meta-analytic method for neuroimaging studies that combines reported peak coordinates and statistical parametric maps. Eur Psychiatry 2012; 27:605–611. link
  5. SDM method 4/4 (anisotropic kernels): Radua J, Rubia K, Canales-Rodriguez EJ, Pomarol-Clotet E, Fusar-Poli P and Mataix-Cols D. Anisotropic kernels for coordinate-based meta-analyses of neuroimaging studies. Front Psychiatry 2014; 5:13. link
  6. SDM specific white matter template: Radua J, Via E, Catani M and Mataix-Cols D. Voxel-based meta-analysis of regional white-matter volume differences in autism spectrum disorder versus healthy controls. Psychol Med 2011; 41:1539-1550. link
  7. SDM specific TBSS preprocessing and template: Peters BD, Szeszko PR, Radua J, Ikuta T, Gruner P, DeRosse P, Zhang JP, Giorgio A, Qiu D, Tapert SF, Brauer J, Asato MR, Khong PL, James AC, Gallego JA and Malhotra AK. White matter development in adolescence: diffusion tensor imaging and meta-analytic results. Schizophrenia Bull 2012; 38:1308-1317. link
  8. Multimodal meta-analyses: Radua J, Romeo M, Mataix-Cols D and Fusar-Poli P. A general approach for combining voxel-based meta-analyses conducted in different neuroimaging modalities. Curr Med Chem 2013; 20:462-466. link

Other known studies using SDM:

  1. Bora E, Fornito A, Yücel M and Pantelis C. Voxelwise meta-analysis of gray matter abnormalities in bipolar disorder. Biol Psychiatry 2010; 67:1097-1105. link
  2. Chen Z and Ma L. Grey matter volume changes over the whole brain in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A voxel-wise meta-analysis of voxel based morphometry studies. Amyotroph Lateral Scler 2010; 11:549-554. link
  3. Bora E, Fornito A, Radua J, Walterfang M, Seal M, Wood SJ, Yücel M, Velakoulis D and Pantelis C. Neuroanatomical abnormalities in schizophrenia: A multimodal voxelwise meta-analysis and meta-regression analysis. Schizophr Res 2011; 127:46-57. link
  4. Richlan F, Kronbichler M and Wimmer H. Meta-analyzing brain dysfunctions in dyslexic children and adults. Neuroimage 2011; 56:1735-42. link
  5. E Via, J Radua, N Cardoner, F Happe and D Mataix-Cols. Meta-analysis of gray matter abnormalities in autism spectrum disorder: should Asperger disorder be subsumed under a broader umbrella of autistic spectrum disorder? Arch Gen Psychiatry 2011; 68:409-418. link
  6. Lai CH. Gray matter deficits in panic disorder: a pilot study of meta-analysis. J Clin Psychopharmacol 2011; 31:287-93. link
  7. Bora E, Fornito A, Pantelis C and Yücel M. Gray matter abnormalities in Major Depressive Disorder: A meta-analysis of voxel based morphometry studies. J Affect Disord 2012; 138:9-18. link
  8. Li J, Pan P, Song W, Huang R, Chen K and Shang H. A meta-analysis of diffusion tensor imaging studies in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Neurobiol Aging 2012; 33:1833–1838. link
  9. Pan PL, Song W and Shang HF. Voxel-wise meta-analysis of gray matter abnormalities in idiopathic Parkinson's disease. Eur J Neurol 2011; 19:199-206. link
  10. Bora E, Fornito A, Yücel M and Pantelis C. The effects of gender on grey matter abnormalities in major psychoses: a comparative voxelwise meta-analysis of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Psychol Med 2011; 42:295-307. link
  11. Nakao T, Radua J, Rubia K and Mataix-Cols D. Gray matter volume abnormalities in ADHD: Voxel-based meta-analysis exploring the effects of age and stimulant medication. Am J Psychiatry 2011; 168:1154-1163. link
  12. Murphy ML and Frodl T. Meta-analysis of diffusion tensor imaging studies shows altered fractional anisotropy occurring in distinct brain areas in association with depression. Biol Mood Anxiety Disord 2011; 1:3. link
  13. Fusar-Poli P, Radua J, McGuire P and Stefan B. Neuroanatomical maps of psychosis onset: Voxel-wise meta-analysis of antipsychotic-naive VBM studies. Schizophrenia Bull 2012; 38:1297-1307. link
  14. Frodl T and Skokauskas N. Meta-analysis of structural MRI studies in children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder indicates treatment effects. Acta Psychiatr Scand 2012; 125:114-26. link
  15. Fusar-Poli P. Voxel-wise meta-analysis of fMRI studies in patients at clinical high risk for psychosis. J Psychiatry Neurosci 2012;37:106-12. link
  16. Li J, Pan P, Huang R and Shang H. A meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies of white matter volume alterations in Alzheimer's disease. Neurosci Biobehav R 2012 Feb;36(2):757-63. link
  17. Fusar-Poli P, Smieskova R, Serafini G, Politi P and Borgwardt S. Neuroanatomical markers of genetic liability to psychosis and first episode psychosis: A voxelwise meta-analytical comparison. World J Biol Psychia 2012; in Press. link
  18. Palaniyappan L, Balain V, Radua J and Liddle PF. Structural correlates of auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia: A meta-analysis. Schizophr Res 2012; 137:169–173. link
  19. Richlan F, Kronbichler M and Wimmer H. Structural abnormalities in the dyslexic brain: A meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies. Hum Brain Mapp 2012; 34:3055-65. link
  20. Pan PL, Song W, Yang J, Huang R, Chen K, Gong QY, Zhong JG, Shi HC and Shang HF. Gray matter atrophy in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia: a meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2012; 33:141-8. link
  21. Palaniyappan L, Balain V and Liddle PF. The neuroanatomy of psychotic diathesis: A meta-analytic review. J Psychiatr Res 2012; 46:1249–1256. link
  22. Bohrn IC, Altmann U and Jacobs AM. Looking at the brains behind figurative language - A quantitative meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies on metaphor, idiom, and irony processing. Neuropsychologia 2012; 50:2669–2683. link
  23. Radua J, Borgwardt S, Crescini A, Mataix-Cols D, Meyer-Lindenberg A, McGuire PK and Fusar-Poli P. Multimodal meta-analysis of structural and functional brain changes in first episode psychosis and the effects of antipsychotic medication. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2012; 36:2325–2333. link
  24. Hart H, Radua J, Mataix-Cols D and Rubia K. Meta-analysis of fMRI studies of timing in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2012; 36:2248-56. link
  25. Lai CH. Gray matter volume in major depressive disorder: a meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies. Psychiatry Res 2013; 211:37-46. link
  26. Peng Z, Lui SS, Cheung EF, Jin Z, Miao G, Jing J and Chan RC. Brain structural abnormalities in obsessive-compulsive disorder: converging evidence from white matter and grey matter. Asian J Psychiatr 2012; 5:290-296. link
  27. Pan PL, Shi HC, Zhong JG, Xiao PR, Shen Y, Wu LJ, Song YY, He GX and Li HL. Gray matter atrophy in Parkinson's disease with dementia: evidence from meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies. Neurol Sci 2013; 34:613-619. link
  28. Pan P, Shi H, Zhong J, Xiao P, Shen Y, Wu L, Song Y and He G. Chronic smoking and brain gray matter changes: evidence from meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies. Neurol Sci 2012; 34:813-7. link
  29. Hart H, Radua J, Nakao T, Mataix-Cols D and Rubia K. Meta-analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging studies of inhibition and attention in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: exploring task-specific, stimulant medication, and age effects. JAMA Psychiatry 2013; 70:185-98. link
  30. Lansley J, Mataix-Cols D, Grau M, Radua J and Sastre-Garriga J. Localized grey matter atrophy in multiple sclerosis: A meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies and associations with functional disability. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2013; 37:819-830. link
  31. Ersche KD, Williams GB, Robbins TW and Bullmore ET. Meta-analysis of structural brain abnormalities associated with stimulant drug dependence and neuroimaging of addiction vulnerability and resilience. Curr Opin Neurobiol 2013; 23:615-24. link
  32. Jacobs HI, Radua J, Lückmann HC and Sack AT. Meta-analysis of functional network alterations in Alzheimer's disease: Toward a network biomarker. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2013; 37:753-765. link
  33. Sartory G, Cwik J, Knuppertz H, Schürholt B, Lebens M, Seitz RJ and Schulze R. In search of the trauma memory: a meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging studies of symptom provocation in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PLoS One 2013; 8:e58150. link
  34. Shi HC, Zhong JG, Pan PL, Xiao PR, Shen Y, Wu LJ, Li HL, Song YY, He GX and Li HY. Gray matter atrophy in progressive supranuclear palsy: meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies. Neurol Sci 2013; 34:1049-55. link
  35. McCarthy H, Skokauskas N and Frodl T. Identifying a consistent pattern of neural function in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a meta-analysis. Psychol Med 2013; 44:869-80. link
  36. Aoki Y, Inokuchi R, Nakao T and Yamasue H. Neural bases of antisocial behavior: a voxel-based meta-analysis. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci 2013; in Press. link
  37. Cao B, Tang Y, Li J, Zhang X, Shang HF and Zhou D. A meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies on gray matter volume alteration in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. Epilepsy Res 2013; 106:370-7. link
  38. Hajek T, Alda M, Hajek E and Ivanoff J. Functional neuroanatomy of response inhibition in bipolar disorders--combined voxel based and cognitive performance meta-analysis. J Psychiatr Res 2013; 47:1955-66. link
  39. Lin CS, Niddam DM and Hsu ML. Meta-analysis on brain representation of experimental dental pain. J Dent Res 2014; 93:126-33. link
  40. Cooper D, Barker V, Radua J, Fusar-Poli P and Lawrie SM. Multimodal voxel-based meta-analysis of structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging studies in those at elevated genetic risk of developing schizophrenia. Psychiatry Res 2014; 221:69-77. link
  41. Rubia K, Alegria AA, Cubillo AI, Smith AB, Brammer MJ and Radua J. Effects of stimulants on brain function in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Biol Psychiatry 2013; in Press. link
  42. Xiao Y, Zhang W, Lui S, Yao L and Gong Q. Similar and different gray matter deficits in schizophrenia patients and their unaffected biological relatives. Front Psychiatry 2013; 4:150. link
  43. Radua J, Grau M, van den Heuvel OA, de Schotten MT, Stein DJ, Canales-Rodriguez EJ, Catani M and Mataix-Cols D. Multimodal voxel-based meta-analysis of white matter abnormalities in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology 2014; in Press. link
  44. White TP, Engen NH, Sorensen S, Overgaard M and Shergill SS. Uncertainty and confidence from the triple-network perspective: voxel-based meta-analyses.. Brain Cogn 2014; 85C:191-200. link
  45. Schurz M, Radua J, Aichhorn M, Richlan F and Perner J. Fractionating Theory of Mind: a meta-analysis of functional brain imaging studies. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2014; in Press. link

Do you know other published studies using SDM? Please tell us HERE !