Statistical power or more precise insights into neuro-temporal dynamics? Assessing the benefits of rapid temporal sampling in fMRI

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Abstract

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a non-invasive and widely used human neuroimaging method, is most known for its spatial precision. However, there is a growing interest in its temporal sensitivity. This is despite the temporal blurring of neuronal events by the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal, the peak of which lags neuronal firing by 4–6 seconds. Given this, the goal of this review is to answer a seemingly simple question – “What are the benefits of increased temporal sampling for fMRI?”. To answer this, we have combined fMRI data collected at multiple temporal scales, from 323 to 1000 milliseconds, with a review of both historical and contemporary temporal literature. After a brief discussion of technological developments that have rekindled interest in temporal research, we next consider the potential statistical and methodological benefits. Most importantly, we explore how fast fMRI can uncover previously unobserved neuro-temporal dynamics – effects that are entirely missed when sampling at conventional 1 to 2 second rates. With the intrinsic link between space and time in fMRI, this temporal renaissance also delivers improvements in spatial precision. Far from producing only statistical gains, the array of benefits suggest that the continued temporal work is worth the effort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102171
JournalProgress in Neurobiology
Volume207
Early online dateSep 4 2021
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by National Institutes of Health Grants RF1 MH117015 (Ghose), RF1 MH116978 (Yacoub), P41 EB027061 (Ugurbil) and P30 NS076408 (Ugurbil).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

Keywords

  • Fast fMRI
  • Neuroscience
  • Rapid sampling
  • Spatiotemporal dynamics
  • Statistics
  • Temporal dynamics

Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) tags

  • BFC
  • MFMM
  • P41

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