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Brain Connect. 2013;3(1):61-71. doi: 10.1089/brain.2012.0093. Epub 2013 Jan 22.

Upsampling to 400-ms resolution for assessing effective connectivity in functional magnetic resonance imaging data with Granger causality.

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Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53705, USA.


Granger causality analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal data allows one to infer the direction and magnitude of influence that brain regions exert on one another. We employed a method for upsampling the time resolution of fMRI data that does not require additional interpolation beyond the interpolation that is regularly used for slice-timing correction. The mathematics for this new method are provided, and simulations demonstrate its viability. Using fMRI, 17 snake phobics and 19 healthy controls viewed snake, disgust, and neutral fish video clips preceded by anticipatory cues. Multivariate Granger causality models at the native 2-sec resolution and at the upsampled 400-ms resolution assessed directional associations of fMRI data among 13 anatomical regions of interest identified in prior research on anxiety and emotion. Superior sensitivity was observed for the 400-ms model, both for connectivity within each group and for group differences in connectivity. Context-dependent analyses for the 400-ms multivariate Granger causality model revealed the specific trial types showing group differences in connectivity. This is the first demonstration of effective connectivity of fMRI data using a method for achieving 400-ms resolution without sacrificing accuracy available at 2-sec resolution.

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