"Multimodal imaging" or "multimodality imaging"?

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yoiko

New Member
Spanish (Spain)
Hi,

I have doubts about the use of "multimodal" and "multimodality" for medical imaging purposes. Multimodal meaning that more than one modality is used, as for example combining magnetic resonance and computed tomography to establish a diagnosis.

What would be correct: "multimodal imaging brings advantages" or "multimodality imaging brings advantages"?
"Multimodal imaging" sounds somehow more correct to me, but Google indicates that "multimodality imaging" is more common... multimodal imaging appears to be used often as an adjective followed by a noun, e.g. "multimodal imaging approaches", whereas multimodality imaging is used as a noun. Still, I am totally confused. And it is VERY IMPORTANT to me because I want it to be in the title of my PhD thesis.

I posted a question in yahoo answers, there is one single answer. Unfortunately, I cannot attach the link because I am a new user :(

Thank you for any help!
 
  • Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Welcome to the forums, yoiko. :)

    For such a technical question (and with so much at stake!) you would probably be better off by consulting the professional literature and then asking your professor's opinion. But maybe someone will come along with specialized knowledge. I'll tag the thread to encourage that.
     

    yoiko

    New Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Hi Nunty,

    Thank you for the reply. I was already consulting the professional literature... The literature (reflected also in Google!) uses both terms as I described, but the doubt is still there.

    I had written first "Multimodality imaging" in my title (intuitively), my professor said if it is not rather "Multimodal imaging", hesitating himself though, and I think he might be right from the grammar, but the literature seems to indicate rather "Multimodality imaging".

    In any case, I currently have no clue! And I have this term in the title and often throughout my thesis, so I would like it to be correct :D

    The other option is that both are equally correct and equally valid... but this seems strange to me...
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    In this area, the term "modality" has come to mean more or less the same as "type of imaging equipment". The expression I am familiar with is multi-modality, but my experience is from the information management perspective - I am not an imaging specialist.
     

    fsabroso

    Senior Member
    Perú / Castellano
    Hi Yoiko:

    I'm not a grammarian but someone who work in radiology field, and as Panjandrum said modality refers to the way (equipment) the images are acquired and you (finishing a PhD thesis) already know that but to be specific check this link (click!). In radiology I always heard people (radiologists, techs, etc.) refers to this as "multi-modality imaging" they even use it to refer to technologist after cross-training, "Multi-modality radiologic technologist".

    Regards.
     
    Last edited:

    yoiko

    New Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Hi,

    Thank you for your answer. After that, I have decided to keep "multimodality imaging" despite the concerns of my Professor.

    I think my problem was to think of "modal" associated to modality, and then the grammar would say to use multimodal. But I see now that modality has NO relationship with modal. Anyways, there are many people (also naative) doing this mistake, as a Google research of "mutlimodal imaging" shows.

    Thanks again, I hope I am making the good choice. At least I will be able to argue if somebody criticizes it...
     

    yoiko

    New Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Just one addition in order to have the complete information. Here is the answer I got from Yahoo Answers (since I cannot post the link):

    You are correct. Multimodal imaging is proper grammatically. Multimodality imaging may be acceptable in some uses, but without further information about your context, I would favor the adjectival form (i.e., "multimodal"), since multimodal is modifying the noun "imaging."

    In contrast, "multimodality" is a noun, so it would be wrong to use it to modify another noun, imaging.

    Furthermore, multimodality or multi-modality is not even in the dictionary. One of the few denotations that I could find for multimodality is a situation in which a continuous probability distribution with two or more modes (i.e., two or more ranges in which there are a high frequency of observations), such that it could be characterized as a multimodal distribution.


    Still, I think multimodality is a better choice, as indicated by sabroso.

    Have a good day.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The Yahoo answerer is not familiar with the use of modality in medical imaging terminology - see the reference to "multimodal distribution".
    He is also not familiar with the extremely common use of nouns to modify other nouns.
    Perhaps he has never seen a bird table.
     

    yoiko

    New Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    :) You are right.

    That is why I made a different choice. The forum helped me a lot in any case. Thank you for your support.
     
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