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Neuroimage. 2013 Feb 15;67:25-32. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.11.005. Epub 2012 Nov 10.

Comparison of diffusion-weighted fMRI and BOLD fMRI responses in a verbal working memory task.

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Human Brain Research Center, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.


Diffusion-weighted functional MRI (DfMRI) has been reported to have a different response pattern in the visual cortex than that of BOLD-fMRI. Especially, the DfMRI signal shows a constantly faster response at both onset and offset of the stimulus, suggesting that the DfMRI signal might be more directly linked to neuronal events than the hemodynamic response. However, because the DfMRI response also contains a residual sensitivity to BOLD this hypothesis has been challenged. Using a verbal working memory task we show that the DfMRI time-course features are preserved outside visual cortices, but also less liable to between-subject/between-regional variation than the BOLD response. The overall findings not only support the feasibility of DfMRI as an approach for functional brain imaging, but also strengthen the uniqueness of the DfMRI signal origin.

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