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Abstract #1360

Variations in the sympathetic tone and fMRI signal during alert conditions

Pinar S Ozbay1, Catie Chang2, Jacco A de Zwart1, Peter van Gelderen1, and Jeff Duyn1
1NINDS, NIH, Bethesda, MD, United States, 2Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States

During light-sleep, strong correlations were observed between fMRI and peripheral signals. This can be inferred from the fingertip pulse-oximeter signal as a proxy for sympathetic activity. Sympathetic activity may also affect fMRI during wake. In this work, we analyzed data collected during cognitive tasks and deep breathing, showed strong spatio-temporal relations between pupil behavior, skin vascular tone, and fMRI signal. We demonstrate that sympathetic activity can be elicited by a variety of stimuli, that those additional measures might be useful for physiological regression and to better distinguish neuronal and autonomic contributions, which are mostly observed as anti-correlation patterns in fMRI.

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