Download and install

All MarsBaR file releases are available via the MarsBaR project download page.

Installing MarsBaR

MarsBaR needs a version of SPM, so if you don’t have SPM, please download and install that first. MarsBaR works with SPM versions 99, 2, 5, and 8.

For the current stable release of MarsBaR, look for the marsbar package; marsbar-devel is the development release. Releases consist of an archive which will unpack in a directory named after the MarsBaR version - for example marsbar-0.42. You then have two options for using MarsBaR within SPM.

  1. You can add the new MarsBaR directory to your matlab path. To use MarsBaR, start it from the matlab prompt with the command “marsbar”, or...

  2. You could set up MarsBaR to run as an SPM toolbox. To do this, the contents of the new MarsBaR directory needs to be in a subdirectory “marsbar” of the SPM toolbox directory. Here is a worked example for Unix. Imagine SPM8 was in /usr/local/spm/spm8, and you had just unpacked the MarsBaR distribution, giving you a directory /home/myhome/marsbar-0.42. You could then create the marsbar SPM toolbox directory with:

    mkdir /usr/local/spm/spm8/toolbox/marsbar
    

    and copy the MarsBaR distribution into this directory with:

    cp -r /home/myhome/marsbar-0.42/* /usr/local/spm/spm8/toolbox/marsbar
    

    Alternatively, you could do the same job by making a symbolic link between the directories with something like:

    ln -s /home/myhome/marsbar-0.42 /usr/local/spm/spm8/toolbox/marsbar
    

Either way, the next time you start spm you should be able to start the toolbox by selecting ‘marsbar’ from the toolbox button on the SPM interface.

Other MarsBaR downloads

Example dataset

You may want the example dataset to try out MarsBaR, or to run the MarsBaR tutorial.

Download the dataset from the MarsBaR project download page.

To install, unpack the archive in a directory you can write to. This will give you a subdirectory like marsbar_example_data-0.3, where 0.3 is the version number of the example data.

The example data are taken from an experiment described in an HBM2003 conference abstract:

Matthew Brett, Ian Nimmo-Smith, Katja Osswald, Ed Bullmore (2003) Model fitting and power in fast event related designs. NeuroImage, 19(2) Supplement 1, abstract 791

The data consist of three EPI runs, all from one subject. In each run the subject watched a computer screen, and pressed a button when they saw a flashing checker board. An “event” in this design is one presentation of the flashing checker board.

We did this experiment because we were interested to see if events at fast presentation rates give different activation levels from events that are more widely spaced. Each run has a different presentation rate. We randomized the times between events in each run to give an average rate of 1 event every second in run 1, 1 event every 3 seconds for run 2, and 1 event every 10 seconds for run 3.

There are some automated pre-processing scripts for this dataset in the MarsBaR distribution, see Starting the tutorial for more details.

AAL structural ROIs

These ROIs can be useful as a standard set of anatomical definitions.

To install, download the AAL ROI archive file from the MarsBaR project download page. Unpack the archive somewhere; it will create a new directory, called something like marsbar-aal-0.2.

The AAL ROI library contains ROIs in MarsBaR format that were anatomically defined by hand on a single brain matched to the MNI / ICBM templates. The ROI definitions are described in:

Tzourio-Mazoyer N, Landeau B, Papathanassiou D, Crivello F, Etard O, Delcroix N, et al. (2002). Automated anatomical labelling of activations in SPM using a macroscopic anatomical parcellation of the MNI MRI single subject brain. NeuroImage 15: 273-289.