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Abstract #4200

Understanding the Vascular Effect on Resting-State fMRI: a Multi-Modality Approach

David C Zhu 1 , Takashi Tarumi 2,3 , Muhammad Ayaz Khan 2,3 , and Rong Zhang 2,3

1 Departments of Radiology and Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, United States, 2 Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, Dallas, TX, United States, 3 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, United States

We used transcranial Doppler ultrasonography, near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy and resting-state fMRI to demonstrate the presence of high-level coupling between the vascular signal fluctuations driven by cardiac activity and the fluctuations of resting-state fMRI and NIR BOLD signals. Findings from the present study raise a fundamental question of whether the BOLD signals used to assess brain functional connectivity are primarily due to the vascular effects produced from upstream changes in cerebral hemodynamics. The results demonstrate the importance and necessity to develop new methods to uncover the BOLD signal due to spontaneous neuronal activity from the strong vascular signal contamination.

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