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Abstract #0462

A Paradigm Change in Functional Brain Mapping: Suppressing the Thermal Noise in fMRI

Luca Vizioli1,2, Steen Moeller1, logan T Dowdle1, Mehmet Akcakaya1, Federico De Martino3, Essa Yacoub1, and Kamil Ugurbil1
1CMRR, University of Minnesota, minneapolis, MN, United States, 2Department of Neurosurgery, University Of Minnesota, minneapolis, MN, United States, 3University Of Maastricht, Maastricht, Netherlands

Functional imaging with the BOLD contrast is an essential tool to investigate human brain functions, however the contribution of thermal noise compromises the signal, particularly at higher resolutions. A recently developed technique, NORDIC, aims to suppress this noise source. Here we show that NORDIC produces data with substantially higher signal-to-noise and functional contrast to noise ratios, resulting in improved detection of functional activation with no change in spatial precision. One run of denoised data is equivalent to combining 3 to 5 runs of conventional data. These effects create new opportunities for functional neuroimaging, while reducing participant or patient burden.

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