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Neuroimage. 2008 May 1;40(4):1567-74. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.09.040. Epub 2007 Oct 4.

Detection and scaling of task-induced fMRI-BOLD response using resting state fluctuations.

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Department of Radiology, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ 07103, USA.


This study evaluated a calibration technique for scaling the fMRI-BOLD response during a simple motor task. A novel scaling parameter, resting state physiological fluctuation amplitude (RSFA), was tested using previously established scaling factors such as breath hold or 5% CO(2). RSFA was hypothesized to contain vascular reactivity information present in the resting state fMRI signal. Subjects were scanned under various stimulus conditions: (a) rest while breathing room air, (b) bilateral fingertapping, (c) breath holding and (d) moderate hypercapnia (breathing 5% CO(2)+air). In all subjects who breathed 5% CO(2), RSFA correlated highly with the BOLD response amplitude during 5% CO(2) inhalation. Also, RSFA correlated highly with the amplitude of the BOLD response elicited by breath hold. RSFA was therefore used as a hemodynamic scaling factor to calibrate both the amplitude and spatial extent of the fMRI-BOLD response during the motor task (fingertapping). Results revealed that amplitude scaling using RSFA was similar to that using breath hold or 5% CO(2), where the spatial extent of activation diminished by 20-37% over all subjects. Spatial extent of activation changed significantly after scaling and only 30-40% of the activated area overlapped with the unscaled activation. RSFA-scaled task-induced fMRI-BOLD response in both amplitude and spatial extent was comparable to that obtained using breath hold or 5% CO(2). We conclude that RSFA may be used to hemodynamically scale the fMRI-BOLD response and does not require the use of a hypercapnic challenge (which may not be purely non-neural), which can be difficult to implement in special populations.

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