Influence of gradient acoustic noise on fMRI response in the human visual cortex

Nanyin Zhang, Xiao Hong Zhu, Wei Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


A paired-stimuli paradigm combined with fMRI was utilized to study the effect of gradient acoustic noise on fMRI response in the human primary visual cortex (V1) in terms of the auditory-visual cross-modal neural interaction. The gradient noise generated during the fMRI acquisition was used as the primary stimulus, and a single flashing light was used as the secondary stimulus. An interstimulus interval (ISI) separated the two. Six tasks were designed with different ISIs ranging from 50 to 700 ms. Both BOLD signal intensity and the number of activated pixels in V1 were analyzed and examined, and they showed a significant reduction when the gradient noise preceded the flashing light by ∼300 ms. These results indicate that the gradient acoustic noise generated during fMRI acquisitions does interfere with neural behavior and the BOLD signal in the human visual cortex. This interference is modulated by the delay between the gradient noise and visual stimulation, and it can be studied quantitatively when the stimulation paradigm is designed appropriately. This study provides evidence of the auditory-visual interaction during fMRI studies, and the results should have an impact on fMRI applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-263
Number of pages6
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2005


  • Auditory cortex
  • Cross-modal neural interaction
  • Dynamic fMRI
  • Gradient acoustic noise
  • Human brain
  • Paired-stimuli paradigm
  • Visual cortex


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