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An investigation of the value of spin-echo-based fMRI using a Stroop color-word matching task and EPI at 3 T

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Norris,  David G.
MPI of Cognitive Neuroscience (Leipzig, -2003), The Prior Institutes, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Zysset,  Stefan
MPI of Cognitive Neuroscience (Leipzig, -2003), The Prior Institutes, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Mildner,  Toralf
MPI of Cognitive Neuroscience (Leipzig, -2003), The Prior Institutes, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Wiggins,  Christopher J.
MPI of Cognitive Neuroscience (Leipzig, -2003), The Prior Institutes, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Norris, D. G., Zysset, S., Mildner, T., & Wiggins, C. J. (2002). An investigation of the value of spin-echo-based fMRI using a Stroop color-word matching task and EPI at 3 T. NeuroImage, 15(3), 719-726. doi:10.1006/nimg.2001.1005.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-9D43-E
Abstract
This study examines the value of spin-echo-based fMRI for cognitive studies at the main magnetic field strength of 3 T using a spin-echo EPI (SE-EPI) sequence and a Stroop color-word matching task. SE-EPI has the potential advantage over conventional gradient-echo EPI (GE-EPI) that signal losses caused by dephasing through the slice are not present, and hence although image distortion will be the same as for an equivalent GE-EPI sequence, signal voids will be eliminated. The functional contrast in SE-EPI will be lower than for GE-EPI, as static dephasing effects do not contribute. As an auxiliary experiment interleaved diffusion-weighted and non-diffusion-weighted SE-EPI was performed in the visual cortex to further elucidate the mechanims of functional contrast. In the Stroop experiment activation was detected in all areas previously found using GE-EPI. Additional frontopolar and ventral frontomedian activations were also found, which could not be detected using GE-EPI. The experiments from visual cortex indicated that at 3 T the BOLD signal change has contributions from the extravascular space and larger blood vessels in roughly equal amounts. In comparison with GE-EPI the absence of static dephasing effects would seem to result in a superior intrinsic spatial resolution. In conclusion the sensitivity of SE-EPI at 3 T is sufficient to make it the method of choice for fMR studies that require a high degree of spatial localization or where the requirement is to detect activation in regions affected by strong susceptibility gradients.