National Institute for Physiological Sciences Takemura Lab Sensory & Cognitive Brain Mapping
National Institutes of Natural Sciences National Institute for Physiological SciencesNational Institutes of Natural Sciences National Institute for Physiological Sciences



Takemura Lab Seminar: Garikoitz Lerma-Usabiaga (Basque Center On Cognition, Brain and Language, Spain)

Date & Time

January 25th (Thu), 2024

3PM-4PM (Japan Standard Time)


Onsite: Seminar Room A/B, Myodaiji Area, National Institute for Physiological Sciences

Online: Zoom


Registration is necessary for online participation. If you wish to attend on-site outside from the institute, please contact with us in advance.

Registration Form for Online Participants (Deadline, Jan 18th, 2024)




Garikoitz Lerma-Usabiaga
Staff Scientist
Basque Center On Cognition, Brain and Language, Spain

Title & Abstract

Title: A validation framework for neuroimaging software: the case of population receptive fields

Neuroimaging software methods are complex, making it a near certainty that some implementations will contain errors. Modern computational techniques (i.e., public code and data repositories, continuous integration, containerization) enable the reproducibility of the analyses and reduce coding errors, but they do not guarantee the scientific validity of the results. We describe a framework for validating and sharing software implementations. We apply the framework to an application: population receptive field (pRF) methods for functional MRI data. Using the framework, we identified realistic conditions that lead to imperfect parameter recovery in four public pRF implementations, and we provide a means to reduce this problem in real experimental settings. Additionally, I will show new results comparing circular and elliptical pRF fits. The computational validity framework supports scientific rigor and creativity, as opposed to the oft-repeated suggestion that investigators rely upon a few agreed upon packages. Having validation frameworks help (1) developers to build new software, (2) research scientists to verify the software's accuracy, and (3) reviewers to evaluate the methods used in publications and grants.

Short Bio: Dr. Lerma-Usabiaga's research focuses on 1) using behavioral, functional and structural MRI techniques to investigate the neural basis of vision and reading and 2) developing functional and structural MRI methods to further examine cognitive functions and enhance neuroimaging reproducibility, validity and generalizability. He is an Electrical Engineer with 5 years of industry experience as a management consultant and 7 years of experience as a tech entrepreneur. He obtained his PhD at BCBL (San Sebastian, Spain) on characterizing the involvement of ventral occipitotemporal cortex in word recognition using multimodal MRI techniques. After the PhD he joined Prof. Brian Wandell at Stanford University for 3 years of postdoctoral studies funded with the Marie Sklodowska Curie Global Fellowship, to work on advanced diffusion MRI methods, population receptive fields (pRF), MRI biomarkers and single-subject quantification. Dr. Lerma-Usabiaga is currently an Ikerbasque and Ramon y Cajal funded Staff Scientist at BCBL.