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Liem, Franziskus; Lutz, Kai; Luechinger, Roger; Jäncke, Lutz; Meyer, Martin (2012). Reducing the interval between volume acquisitions improves "Sparse" scanning protocols in event-related auditory fMRI. Brain Topography, 25(2):182-193.

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Sparse and clustered-sparse temporal sampling fMRI protocols have been devised to reduce the influence of auditory scanner noise in the context of auditory fMRI studies. Here, we report an improvement of the previously established clustered-sparse acquisition scheme. The standard procedure currently used by many researchers in the field is a scanning protocol that includes relatively long silent pauses between image acquisitions (and therefore, a relatively long repetition time or cluster-onset asynchrony); it is during these pauses that stimuli are presented. This approach makes it unlikely that stimulus-induced BOLD response is obscured by scanner-noise-induced BOLD response. It also allows the BOLD response to drop near baseline; thus, avoiding saturation of BOLD signal and theoretically increasing effect size. A possible drawback of this approach is the limited number of stimulus presentations and image acquisitions that are possible in a given period of time, which could result in an inaccurate estimation of effect size (higher standard error). Since this line of reasoning has not yet been empirically tested, we decided to vary the cluster-onset asynchrony (7.5, 10, 12.5, and 15 s) in the context of a clustered-sparse protocol. In this study sixteen healthy participants listened to spoken sentences. We performed whole-brain fMRI group statistics and region of interest analysis with anatomically defined regions of interest (auditory core and association areas). We discovered that the protocol, which included a short cluster-onset asynchrony (7.5 s), yielded more advantageous results than the other protocols, which involved longer cluster-onset asynchrony. The short cluster-onset asynchrony protocol exhibited a larger number of activated voxels and larger mean effect sizes with lower standard errors. Our findings suggest that, contrary to prior experience, a short cluster-onset asynchrony is advantageous because more stimuli can be delivered within any given period of time. Alternatively, a given number of stimuli can be presented in less time, and this broadens the spectrum of possible fMRI applications.


9 citations in Web of Science®
9 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
150 Psychology
170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:DoktoratPSYCH Erstautor
Deposited On:08 Nov 2011 12:41
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:05
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s10548-011-0206-x
PubMed ID:22015572

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