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Flor Vasseur, Chantal Delon-Martin, Cécile Bordier, Jan Warnking, Laurent Lamalle, Christoph Segebarth, Michel Dojat; fMRI retinotopic mapping at 3 T: Benefits gained from correcting the spatial distortions due to static field inhomogeneity. Journal of Vision 2010;10(12):30. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/10.12.30.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
fMRI retinotopic mapping usually relies upon Fourier analysis of functional responses to periodic visual stimuli that encode eccentricity or polar angle in the visual field. Generally, phase estimations are assigned to a surface model of the cerebral cortex and borders between retinotopic areas are eventually determined following ad hoc phase analysis on the surface model. Assigning functional responses to a surface model of the cortex is particularly sensitive to geometric distortions of the 3D functional data due to static field inhomogeneity. Here, we assess and document the benefits gained from correcting the fMRI data for these effects, under standard experimental conditions (echo-planar imaging, 3.0-T field strength) and with well-chosen acquisition parameters (regarding slice orientation and phase-encoding direction). While it appears that, in the absence of correction, errors in the estimates of the borders between low-order visual areas do not then significantly exceed the variance of statistical origin, about half of the functional responses in a retinotopic experiment are misassigned to neighboring functional areas. Therefore, correction of the effects due to geometric distortions is important in any retinotopic mapping experiment and by extension in any fMRI experiment on the visual system.
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