Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) has seen an increase in popularity as a method for studying the human brain. This approach is dependent on voxel localization and spectral quality, knowledge of which are essential for judging the validity and robustness of any analysis. As such, visualization plays a central role in appropriately communicating MRS studies. The quality of data visualization has been shown to be poor in a number of biomedical fields and so we sought to appraise this in MRS papers. To do this, we conducted a survey of the psychiatric single-voxel MRS literature. This revealed a generally low standard, with a significant proportion of papers not providing the voxel location and spectral quality information required to judge their validity or replicate the experiment. Based on this, we then present a series of suggestions for a minimal standard for MRS data visualization. The primary point of these is that both voxel location and MRS spectra be presented from all participants. Participant group membership should be indicated where more than one is included in the experiment (e.g. patients and controls). A set of suggested figure layouts that fulfil these requirements are presented with sample code provided to produce these (github.com/nwd2918/MRS-voxel-plot).
- data visualization
ASJC Scopus subject areas