The purpose of this study was to empirically investigate and compare the effects of alternating and continuous experimental task designs on blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal contrast. Six healthy volunteers underwent single-finger opposition functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) using T2*-weighted echo planar imaging technique on a 1.5 T MR scanner. Two different acquisition patterns were tested: alternating (ABABAB) and continuous (AAABBB), rest: A, activation: B. The BOLD signal contrast within a primary, motor cortex region of interest (ROI) was evaluated using normalized t-values (z-scores) and mean region of interest (ROI) intensity for the two patterns. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) on ROI mean z-score and signal intensities demonstrate that the alternating pattern of administering rest and activation epochs produced a more robust statistical difference than a continuous pattern. The results showed that different patterns of acquisition yield differences in the BOLD signal at field strength of 1.5 T, and that an alternating task design can be considered more optimal than a continuous task design.
- Comparative studies
- Functional magnetic resonance imaging
- Magnetic resonance imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging