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Magn Reson Imaging. 2002 May;20(4):305-17.

Hierarchical clustering to measure connectivity in fMRI resting-state data.

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Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.


Low frequency oscillations, which are temporally correlated in functionally related brain regions, characterize the mammalian brain, even when no explicit cognitive tasks are performed. Functional connectivity MR imaging is used to map regions of the resting brain showing synchronous, regional and slow fluctuations in cerebral blood flow and oxygenation. In this study, we use a hierarchical clustering method to detect similarities of low-frequency fluctuations. We describe one measure of correlations in the low frequency range for classification of resting-state fMRI data. Furthermore, we investigate the contribution of motion and hardware instabilities to resting-state correlations and provide a method to reduce artifacts. For all cortical regions studied and clusters obtained, we quantify the degree of contamination of functional connectivity maps by the respiratory and cardiac cycle. Results indicate that patterns of functional connectivity can be obtained with hierarchical clustering that resemble known neuronal connections. The corresponding voxel time series do not show significant correlations in the respiratory or cardiac frequency band.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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