Why is Fractional Anisotropy (FA), a measure in diffusion tensor imaging, called "fractional"? I'd have thought "local", i.e. voxel-wise, would have been the correct way to qualify the anisotropy that is calculated from the tensor model, so why fractional?
Like lea's comment indicated, FA is called "fractional" anisotropy simply because it's the degree of anisotropic diffusion, i.e., a ratio (Soares, Marques, Alves and Sousa, 2013).
Fractional Anisotropy is a normalized measure of the fraction of the tensor's magnitude due to anisotropic diffusion, corresponding to the degree of anisotropic diffusion or directionality and ranges from 0 (isotropic diffusion) to 1 (anisotropic diffusion).