Identifying respiration-related aliasing artifacts in the rodent resting-state fMRI

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Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) combined with optogenetics and electrophysiological/calcium recordings in animal models is becoming a popular platform to investigate brain dynamics under specific neurological states. Physiological noise originating from the cardiac and respiration signal is the dominant interference in human rs-fMRI and extensive efforts have been made to reduce these artifacts from the human data. In animal fMRI studies, physiological noise sources including the respiratory and cardiorespiratory artifacts to the rs-fMRI signal fluctuation have typically been less investigated. In this article, we demonstrate evidence of aliasing effects into the low-frequency rs-fMRI signal fluctuation mainly due to respiration-induced B0 offsets in anesthetized rats. This aliased signal was examined by systematically altering the fMRI sampling rate, i.e., the time of repetition (TR), in free-breathing conditions and by adjusting the rate of ventilation. Anesthetized rats under ventilation showed a significantly narrower frequency bandwidth of the aliasing effect than free-breathing animals. It was found that the aliasing effect could be further reduced in ventilated animals with a muscle relaxant. This work elucidates the respiration-related aliasing effects on the rs-fMRI signal fluctuation from anesthetized rats, indicating non-negligible physiological noise needed to be taken care of in both awake and anesthetized animal rs-fMRI studies.




Pais-Roldán, P., Biswal, B., Scheffler, K., & Yu, X. (2018). Identifying respiration-related aliasing artifacts in the rodent resting-state fMRI. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 12(NOV).

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