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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: The twice-refocused spin echo sequence is widely used in diffusion imaging due to its excellent performance in reducing eddy currents. The three radio frequency pulses give rise to eight separate signal pathways. Because there is no general solution for the size and arrangement for crusher gradients, with constant size and orientation, that is effective for all arbitrary diffusion-sensitizing b-values and directions, this article introduces and validates a solution whereby the crusher and diffusion-encoding gradients are always kept orthogonal, thus ensuring their independence. Methods: The cancellation of the crusher and diffusion gradients was demonstrated. Subsequently, crusher gradients were implemented in such a way that they were always orthogonal to the diffusion gradient. Phantom and in-vivo experiments were performed to ascertain that orthogonally implemented crusher gradients alleviate the problem without lowering image quality. Results: In all experiments, when the crusher gradients' action was cancelled by the diffusion-encoding gradients artifactual signal modulation was observed. When orthogonal gradients were implemented the artifacts were eliminated without detrimental effects on image quality. Conclusions: Orthogonal crushers are easy to implement and can be used for any variant of diffusion imaging sequences (e.g., diffusion tensor imaging, fiber diameter mapping) where the twice-refocused scheme is used.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: We report experiments designed to learn whether different kinds of perceptually unstable visual images engage different neural mechanisms. 21 subjects viewed two types of bi-stable images while we scanned the activity in their brains with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); in one (intra-categorical type) the two percepts remained within the same category (e.g. face-face) while in the other (cross-categorical type) they crossed categorical boundaries (e.g. face-body). The results showed that cross- and intra-categorical reversals share a common reversal-related neural circuitry, which includes fronto-parietal cortex and primary visual cortex (area V1). Cross-categorical reversals alone engaged additional areas, notably anterior cingulate cortex and superior temporal gyrus, which have been posited to be involved in conflict resolution.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · NeuroImage
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    ABSTRACT: Field inhomogeneities caused by variations in magnetic susceptibility throughout the head lead to geometric distortions, mainly in the phase-encode direction of echo-planar images (EPI). The magnitude and spatial characteristics of the distortions depend on the orientation of the head in the magnetic field and will therefore vary with head movement. A new method is presented, based on a phase informed model for motion and susceptibility (PIMMS), which estimates the change in geometric distortion associated with head motion. This method fits a model of the head motion parameters and scanner hardware characteristics to EPI phase time series. The resulting maps of the model fit parameters are used to correct for susceptibility artifacts in the magnitude images. Results are shown for EPI-based fMRI time-series acquired at 3T, demonstrating that compared with conventional rigid body realignment, PIMMS removes residual variance associated with motion-related distortion effects. Furthermore, PIMMS can lead to a reduction in false negatives compared with the widely accepted approach which uses standard rigid body realignment and includes the head motion parameters in the statistical model. The PIMMS method can be used with any standard EPI sequence for which accurate phase information is available. Hum Brain Mapp, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Human Brain Mapping
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