Analysis of fMRI Single Subject Data in the Fourier Domain Acquired Using a Multiple Input Stimulus Experimental Design


Analysis of functional MRI (fMRI) blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) data is typically carried out in the time domain where the data has a high temporal correlation. These analyses usually employ parametric models of the hemodynamic response function (HRF) where either pre-whitening of the data is attempted or autoregressive (AR) models are employed to model the noise. Statistical analysis then proceeds via regression of the convolution of the HRF with the input stimuli. This approach has limitations when considering that the time series collected are embedded in a brain image in which the AR model order may vary and pre-whitening techniques may be insufficient for handling faster sampling times. However fMRI data can be analyzed in the Fourier domain where the assumptions made as to the structure of the noise can be less restrictive and hypothesis tests are straightforward for single subject analysis, especially useful in a clinical setting. This allows for experiments that can have both fast temporal sampling and event-related designs where stimuli can be closely spaced in time. Equally important, statistical analysis in the Fourier domain focuses on hypothesis tests based on nonparametric estimates of the hemodynamic transfer function (HRF in the frequency domain). This is especially important for experimental designs involving multiple states (drug or stimulus induced) that may alter the form of the response function. In this context a univariate general linear model in the Fourier domain has been applied to analyze BOLD data sampled at a rate of 400 ms from an experiment that used a two-way ANOVA design for the deterministic stimulus inputs with inter-stimulus time intervals chosen from Poisson distributions of equal intensity.

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D. Rio, R. Rawlings, L. Woltz, J. Gilman and D. Hommer, "Analysis of fMRI Single Subject Data in the Fourier Domain Acquired Using a Multiple Input Stimulus Experimental Design," Journal of Signal and Information Processing, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2012, pp. 469-480. doi: 10.4236/jsip.2012.34060.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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