SPM is an academic software toolkit for the analysis of functional imaging data, for users familiar with the underlying statistical, mathematical and image processing concepts. It is essential to understand these underlying concepts in order to use the software effectively. A good starting point is the Introduction to SPM, by Karl Friston.
Peer reviewed literature
The primary reference for the theories underlying SPM are the academic papers in the peer reviewed literature. These are available via the Online Bibliography which organises books, papers and technical reports by year, category, author and keyword. An Annotated Bibliography provides a guide to the various papers.
There is an SPM12 manual distributed with the software (
spm12/man/manual.pdf), which is written by the developers. Much of the manual's contents are also available via the SPM batch interface. See also the release notes.
The book Statistical Parametric Mapping: The Analysis of Functional Brain Images (2007) provides the background and methodology for the analysis of all types of brain imaging data, from functional magnetic resonance imaging to magnetoencephalography. Critically, "Statistical Parametric Mapping" provides a widely accepted conceptual framework which allows treatment of all these different modalities. The book takes the reader from the basic concepts underlying the analysis of neuroimaging data to cutting edge approaches that would be difficult to find in any other source. The material is presented in an incremental way so that the reader can understand the precedents for each new development. This book will be particularly useful to neuroscientists engaged in any form of brain mapping; who have to contend with the real-world problems of data analysis and understanding the techniques they are using. It is primarily a scientific treatment and a didactic introduction to the analysis of brain imaging data. It can be used as both a textbook for students and scientists starting to use the techniques, as well as a reference for practicing neuroscientists.
Introductory articles are also provided in the earlier book Human Brain Function. PDFs of draft versions of book chapters are available online:
Methods for Dummies
Third party documentation
There is a SPM WikiBook, which is written and maintained by the international SPM community. Please do take a look at the SPM wiki and feel free to contribute to it if you can.
- SPM WikiBooks