1Advanced Imaging Research Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, United States; 2Center for Vital Longevity, University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, TX, United States
Given that the BOLD signal is an indirect measure of neural activity, there have been great efforts recently developing more quantitative fMRI methods, including fMRI normalization using cerebrovascular reactivity. In this work, we compared between the plain BOLD signal and the BOLD signal after normalization with cerebrovascular reactivity. We found the normalized fMRI signal showed a significant correlation with working memory performance across healthy individuals, while the plain BOLD signal showed no correlation. This work provided the first direct evidence that quantitative measure of brain activation after accounting for vascular factors can provide a more accurate predictor of cognitive function.