Physiological recordings: Basic concepts and implementation during functional magnetic resonance imaging

Clinical Imaging Sciences Centre and Department of Psychiatry, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex, Falmer Campus, UK.
NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.36). 06/2009; 47(3):1105-15. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.05.033
Source: PubMed


Combining human functional neuroimaging with other forms of psychophysiological measurement, including autonomic monitoring, provides an empirical basis for understanding brain-body interactions. This approach can be applied to characterize unwanted physiological noise, examine the neural control and representation of bodily processes relevant to health and morbidity, and index covert expression of affective and cognitive processes to enhance the interpretation of task-evoked regional brain activity. In recent years, human neuroimaging has been dominated by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. The spatiotemporal information of fMRI regarding central neural activity is valuably complemented by parallel physiological monitoring, yet such studies still remain in the minority. This review article highlights fMRI studies that employed cardiac, vascular, respiratory, electrodermal, gastrointestinal and pupillary psychophysiological indices to address specific questions regarding interaction between brain and bodily state in the context of experience, cognition, emotion and behaviour. Physiological monitoring within the fMRI environment presents specific technical issues, most importantly related to safety. Mechanical and electrical hazards may present dangers to scanned subjects, operator and/or equipment. Furthermore, physiological monitoring may interfere with the quality of neuroimaging data, or itself be compromised by artefacts induced by the operation of the scanner. We review the sources of these potential problems and the current approaches and advice to enable the combination of fMRI and physiological monitoring in a safe and effective manner.

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    • "Arguably, the field has been restrained by technical challenges, for example in combining functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with detailed autonomic recording or associated experimental manipulations. However, such difficulties can and have been overcome (Gray et al., 2009a). Perhaps as relevant is a historical cultural stance that has rather underplayed the integration, across the neuraxis, of dynamic autonomic control and its contribution to perceptual, cognitive, motivational and volitional processes. "
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    • "cortex. On the other hand, Gray et al. (2009) emphasized the value of physiological recordings in fMRI analysis to investigate the brain–body interaction for emotional/cognitive neuroscience and psychosomatic medicine. In line with the theoretical proposals of Damasio and Critchley, Beissner, Meissner, Bar, and Napadow (2013) performed a meta-analysis based on 43 neuroimaging studies that used simultaneous autonomic measures in the fMRI analysis as regressors of interest to identify the central autonomic network, which included left amygdala, right anterior and left posterior insula, and mid-cingulate cortex, most of which are important parts of the salience network (Seeley et al., 2007). "
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    • "and radio frequency artifacts in the EEG and EMG signals were removed by means of average model subtraction followed by adaptive filtering; the ballistocardiogram was subsequently removed using a similar approach, with each QRS complex being identified (Allen et al. 1998, 2000; Gray et al. 2009). "
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