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Abstract #1421

Effect of brain tissue deformation on functional MRI signal variations assessed using biomechanical simulations

Mahsa Zoraghi1, Nico Scherf2,3, Carsten Jaeger1, Ingolf Sack4, Sebastian Hirsch5,6, Stefan Hetzer5,6, and Nikolaus Weiskopf1,7
1Department of Neurophysics, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany, 2Methods and Development Group Neural Data Science and Statistical Computing, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany, 3Institute for Medical Informatics and Biometry, Carl Gustav Carus Faculty of Medicine, TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany, 4Department of Radiology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany, Berlin, Germany, 5Berlin Center for Advanced Neuroimaging, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 6Berlin Center for Computational Neuroscience, Berlin, Germany, 7Faculty of Physics and Earth Sciences, Felix Bloch Institute for Solid State Physics, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany


Recent studies on the brain suggest a link between brain function and biomechanics of brain. In this study we develop a novel simulation framework to investigate blood flow-induced deformation caused by increased neural activity in brain tissue considering its mechanical properties. We further investigate its impact in simulated fMRI experiments. Our results demonstrate that the displacement in gyrus induced by local volume and stiffness change might not be directly resolved due to limited fMRI resolution, but can lead to artifacts when interpreting measurements at layer-level resolution. Our findings may help to systematically analyze potential resulting artefacts in high resolution fMRI.

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