Hemodynamic traveling waves in human visual cortex

Kevin M. Aquino, Mark M. Schira, P. A. Robinson, Peter M. Drysdale, Michael Breakspear

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51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Functional MRI (fMRI) experiments rely on precise characterization of the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal. As the spatial resolution of fMRI reaches the sub-millimeter range, the need for quantitative modelling of spatiotemporal properties of this hemodynamic signal has become pressing. Here, we find that a detailed physiologically-based model of spatiotemporal BOLD responses predicts traveling waves with velocities and spatial ranges in empirically observable ranges. Two measurable parameters, related to physiology, characterize these waves: wave velocity and damping rate. To test these predictions, high-resolution fMRI data are acquired from subjects viewing discrete visual stimuli. Predictions and experiment show strong agreement, in particular confirming BOLD waves propagating for at least 5-10 mm across the cortical surface at speeds of 2-12 mm s-1. These observations enable fundamentally new approaches to fMRI analysis, crucial for fMRI data acquired at high spatial resolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1002435
JournalPLoS Computational Biology
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

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