Optimized RF excitation for anatomical brain imaging of the occipital lobe using the 3D MDEFT sequence and a surface transmit coil
ABSTRACT An RF excitation scheme is presented for anatomical imaging of occipital brain areas at 3T using the 3D modified driven equilibrium Fourier transform (MDEFT) sequence and a transmit-receive surface coil. Surface coils operated in the transmit mode usually display a high B(1) inhomogeneity. This causes variations of the flip angle and impairs fat saturation, resulting in blurring, signal losses, and artifacts due to high scalp intensities. A composite binomial pulse with one spectral component for water selective excitation and one spatial component for B(1) inhomogeneity compensation is presented. It is shown experimentally that the pulse prevents image blurring and reduces the scalp signal considerably. The total pulse duration of only 2.4 ms is compatible with the relatively short repetition times (TRs) required for MDEFT imaging. The method is particularly useful for certain applications in neuroimaging that require technical equipment that is too large for standard coils or should not be exposed to RF fields.
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ABSTRACT: With the present study we investigated cue-induced preparation in a Simon task and measured electroencephalogram and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data in two within-subjects sessions. Cues informed either about the upcoming (1) spatial stimulus-response compatibility (rule cues), or (2) the stimulus location (position cues), or (3) were non-informative. Only rule cues allowed anticipating the upcoming compatibility condition. Position cues allowed anticipation of the upcoming location of the Simon stimulus but not its compatibility condition. Rule cues elicited fastest and most accurate performance for both compatible and incompatible trials. The contingent negative variation (CNV) in the event-related potential (ERP) of the cue-target interval is an index of anticipatory preparation and was magnified after rule cues. The N2 in the post-target ERP as a measure of online action control was reduced in Simon trials after rule cues. Although compatible trials were faster than incompatible trials in all cue conditions only non-informative cues revealed a compatibility effect in additional indicators of Simon task conflict like accuracy and the N2. We thus conclude that rule cues induced anticipatory re-coding of the Simon task that did not involve cognitive conflict anymore. fMRI revealed that rule cues yielded more activation of the left rostral, dorsal, and ventral prefrontal cortex as well as the pre-SMA as compared to POS and NON-cues. Pre-SMA and ventrolateral prefrontal activation after rule cues correlated with the effective use of rule cues in behavioral performance. Position cues induced a smaller CNV effect and exhibited less prefrontal and pre-SMA contributions in fMRI. Our data point to the importance to disentangle different anticipatory adjustments that might also include the prevention of upcoming conflict via task re-coding.Frontiers in Psychology 02/2013; 4:47. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00047 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is associated with dysfunctional brain activity in several regions which are also involved in the processing of motivational stimuli. Processing of reward and punishment appears to be of special importance to understand clinical symptoms. There is evidence for higher sensitivity to punishment in patients with OCD which raises the question how avoidance of punishment relates to activity within the brain's reward circuitry. We employed the monetary incentive delay task paradigm optimized for modeling the anticipation phase of immediate reward and punishment, in the context of a cross-sectional event-related FMRI study comparing OCD patients and healthy control participants (n = 19 in each group). While overall behavioral performance was similar in both groups, patients showed increased activation upon anticipated losses in a medial and superior frontal cortex region extending into the cingulate cortex, and decreased activation upon anticipated rewards. No evidence was found for altered activation of dorsal or ventral striatal regions. Patients also showed more delayed responses for anticipated rewards than for anticipated losses whereas the reverse was true in healthy participants. The medial prefrontal cortex has been shown to implement a domain-general process comprising negative affect, pain and cognitive control. This process uses information about punishment to control aversively motivated actions by integrating signals arriving from subcortical regions. Our results support the notion that OCD is associated with altered sensitivity to anticipated rewards and losses in a medial prefrontal region whereas there is no significant aberrant activation in ventral or dorsal striatal brain regions during processing of reinforcement anticipation.01/2013; 2:212-20. DOI:10.1016/j.nicl.2013.01.005
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ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Neurobiological models of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) predict hyperactivity in brain circuits involving the orbitofrontal cortex and the basal ganglia, but it is unclear whether these areas are also characterized by altered brain network properties. OBJECTIVES To determine regions of abnormal degree connectivity in patients with OCD and to investigate whether connectivity measures are affected by antidepressant medication in OCD. DESIGN Case-control cross-sectional study using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and a data-driven, model-free method to test for alterations in the degree of whole-brain, distant, and local connectivity in unmedicated patients with OCD compared with healthy controls. SETTING Outpatient clinic for OCD. PARTICIPANTS Twenty-three patients with OCD (12 women, 11 men) receiving no medication, 23 patients with OCD (14 women, 9 men) treated with antidepressant medication, and 2 equally sized control samples matched for age, sex, handedness, educational level, and IQ. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Statistical parametric maps testing the degree of distant and local functional connectivity of each voxel (hub analysis at voxel level) and OCD symptom severity. RESULTS Unmedicated patients with OCD showed greater distant connectivity in the orbitofrontal cortex and subthalamic nucleus and greater local connectivity in the orbitofrontal cortex and the putamen. Furthermore, distant connectivity of the orbitofrontal cortex and the putamen positively correlated with global OCD symptom severity. Medicated patients with OCD showed reduced local connectivity of the ventral striatum compared with the unmedicated patients. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Consistent with neurobiological models of OCD, the orbitofrontal cortex and the basal ganglia are hyperconnected in unmedicated patients. The finding of distant connectivity alterations of the orbitofrontal cortex and the basal ganglia represents initial evidence of greater connections with distant cortical areas outside of corticostriatal circuitry. Furthermore, these data suggest that antidepressant medication may reduce connectivity within corticobasal ganglia-thalamo-cortical circuits in OCD.JAMA Psychiatry 06/2013; 70(6):619-29. DOI:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.173 · 12.01 Impact Factor