The aim of this study was to assess changes in brain activity during a motor task and variable sensory stimulation using echo planar imaging, which represents the fastest clinically usefull imaging technique available. Materials and methods : The subjects of this study were 11 healthy-volunteers, 4 males and 11 felales, with an average of 26.4 years. The subjects were instructed to tap the fingers of one hand as the motor task. Compressed air was applied 5 times a second as "simple" sensory stimulation. Simple figures were drawn on the subjects palm as "complex" sensory stimulation. In all cases, functional imaging was performed by T2*-weighted echo planar imaging (TE = 53 msec, TR = 3000 msec, flip angle = 90 degress, matrix 64 × 64, FOV = 205 mm, slice thickness = 8 mm) alternately at rest and during the task (intervals : 30 sec). A total of 60 images was collected in 3 minutes. Images obtained by subtracting images at rest and during the task were analyzed. Results and discussion : Almost all subjects showed a transient signal increase in the contralateral paracentral region during simple sensory stimulation. Continuous signal increases in the contra- and/or ipsi-lateral para-central region were observed during complex sensory stimulation. Some exhibited signal increases in the parietal or frontal association cortex, but they disappeared when subject's attention was distracted during stimulation. All subjects displayed signal increases in the contralateral para-central region during the motor task. Some of them exhibited signal increases in the medial frontal area (supplementary motor area) and ipsilateral para-central region. These results suggest that the signal increases of functional MRI reflect not only simple reactions to stimulation but higher cerebral function as well.
|Journal||Brain and Nerve|
|Publication status||Published - 1996 Dec 1|
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