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PLoS One. 2013 Aug 15;8(8):e72576. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072576. eCollection 2013.

Enhanced sympathetic arousal in response to FMRI scanning correlates with task induced activations and deactivations.

Author information

1
Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Department of Psychology, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany. muehlhan@klipsy.tu-dresden.de

Abstract

It has been repeatedly shown that functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) triggers distress and neuroendocrine response systems. Prior studies have revealed that sympathetic arousal increases, particularly at the beginning of the examination. Against this background it appears likely that those stress reactions during the scanning procedure may influence task performance and neural correlates. However, the question how sympathetic arousal elicited by the scanning procedure itself may act as a potential confounder of fMRI data remains unresolved today. Thirty-seven scanner naive healthy subjects performed a simple cued target detection task. Levels of salivary alpha amylase (sAA), as a biomarker for sympathetic activity, were assessed in samples obtained at several time points during the lab visit. SAA increased two times, immediately prior to scanning and at the end of the scanning procedure. Neural activation related to motor preparation and timing as well as task performance was positively correlated with the first increase. Furthermore, the first sAA increase was associated with task induced deactivation (TID) in frontal and parietal regions. However, these effects were restricted to the first part of the experiment. Consequently, this bias of scanner related sympathetic activation should be considered in future fMRI investigations. It is of particular importance for pharmacological investigations studying adrenergic agents and the comparison of groups with different stress vulnerabilities like patients and controls or adolescents and adults.

PMID:
23967320
PMCID:
PMC3744508
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0072576
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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