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PLoS One. 2015 Apr 2;10(3):e0118890. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118890. eCollection 2015.

Flexible adaptive paradigms for fMRI using a novel software package 'Brain Analysis in Real-Time' (BART).

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig,Germany; Leipzig University Medical Center, Leipzig, Germany.
2
Department of Neurology, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig,Germany.
3
NMR Unit, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany.
4
Department of Neurology, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig,Germany; Leipzig University Medical Center, IFB Adiposity Diseases, Leipzig, Germany; Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University Hospital, Leipzig, Germany.
5
Department of Psychology, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel.
6
Department of Neurology, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig,Germany; Leipzig University Medical Center, IFB Adiposity Diseases, Leipzig, Germany; Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University Hospital, Leipzig, Germany; Mind and Brain Institute, Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt-University and Charite, Berlin, Germany.
7
Department of Neurology, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig,Germany; Leipzig University Medical Center, Leipzig, Germany; Leipzig University Medical Center, IFB Adiposity Diseases, Leipzig, Germany.

Abstract

In this work we present a new open source software package offering a unified framework for the real-time adaptation of fMRI stimulation procedures. The software provides a straightforward setup and highly flexible approach to adapt fMRI paradigms while the experiment is running. The general framework comprises the inclusion of parameters from subject's compliance, such as directing gaze to visually presented stimuli and physiological fluctuations, like blood pressure or pulse. Additionally, this approach yields possibilities to investigate complex scientific questions, for example the influence of EEG rhythms or fMRI signals results themselves. To prove the concept of this approach, we used our software in a usability example for an fMRI experiment where the presentation of emotional pictures was dependent on the subject's gaze position. This can have a significant impact on the results. So far, if this is taken into account during fMRI data analysis, it is commonly done by the post-hoc removal of erroneous trials. Here, we propose an a priori adaptation of the paradigm during the experiment's runtime. Our fMRI findings clearly show the benefits of an adapted paradigm in terms of statistical power and higher effect sizes in emotion-related brain regions. This can be of special interest for all experiments with low statistical power due to a limited number of subjects, a limited amount of time, costs or available data to analyze, as is the case with real-time fMRI.

PMID:
25837719
PMCID:
PMC4383593
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0118890
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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