Repeatability of Detecting Visual Cortex Activity in Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Document Type : Original Paper


1 Medical Physics Department, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Optometry Department, Rehabilitation Faculty, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Medical Physics Department, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


As functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is too expensive and time consuming, its frequent implementation is difficult. The aim of this study is to evaluate repeatability of detecting visual cortex activity in fMRI.
Materials and Methods
In this study, 15 normal volunteers (10 female, 5 male; Mean age±SD: 24.7±3.8 years) attended. Functional magnetic resonance images were obtained during a visual task of sine-wave with spatial frequency of 1.84 cpd and temporal frequency of 8 Hz in three scan runs. Two runs of functional images were provided consecutively in a session, and the third run was provided 1-6 weeks later. The activation map was created using the data obtained from the block-designed fMRI study. Voxels whose Z value was above a threshold of 2.3, at a significance level p=0.05, were considered activated. After image processing, the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal changes and the number of activated voxels in response to visual stimuli were compared in different runs.
The results of this study demonstrate no significant difference between the number of activated voxels and BOLD signal in first and second runs in one session (Paired t-test, p>0.05). Moreover, there is a considerable correlation between first and second scan runs (rsignal=0.74, p=0.006 and rvoxel=0.62, p=0.03), while the correlation between the runs in separate sessions is weak (rsignal=0.28, p=0.38 and rvoxel=0.32, p=0.31).
Since the repeatability of BOLD signal and number of activated voxels in one session is considerably better than that in the separate sessions, it is suggested that in fMRI visual studies that need repeated scanning, scans should be acquired during a single session.


Main Subjects


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