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Neuroimage. 2004 Oct;23(2):500-16.

Spatiotemporal wavelet analysis for functional MRI.

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MGH/HMS/MIT Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.


Characterizing the spatiotemporal behavior of the BOLD signal in functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a central issue in understanding brain function. While the nature of functional activation clusters is fundamentally heterogeneous, many current analysis approaches use spatially invariant models that can degrade anatomic boundaries and distort the underlying spatiotemporal signal. Furthermore, few analysis approaches use true spatiotemporal continuity in their statistical formulations. To address these issues, we present a novel spatiotemporal wavelet procedure that uses a stimulus-convolved hemodynamic signal plus correlated noise model. The wavelet fits, computed by spatially constrained maximum-likelihood estimation, provide efficient multiscale representations of heterogeneous brain structures and give well-identified, parsimonious spatial activation estimates that are modulated by the temporal fMRI dynamics. In a study of both simulated data and actual fMRI memory task experiments, our new method gave lower mean-squared error and seemed to result in more localized fMRI activation maps compared to models using standard wavelet or smoothing techniques. Our spatiotemporal wavelet framework suggests a useful tool for the analysis of fMRI studies.

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