Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Pieter Buur (Donders Series 66)

November 2, 2011.

Promotor: Prof.dr. D. Norris

Imaging in motion. Applications of multi-echo fMRI

The small signal changes in fMRI data necessitate sensitive measurement techniques to be able to measure brain activity and draw reliable inferences about how the brain functions. Many sources of noise match or exceed the effects of interest in the data, head motion being one of the most pronounced. Conventional EPI data acquisition has the disadvantage of being optimally sensitive to activation only in a part of the brain.

Multi-echo fMRI, besides leading to an increased sensitivity across the brain, can be exploited for reduction of unwanted signal components. In this thesis, the utility of multi-echo EPI data for improving the sensitivity of fMRI experiments was examined. Several echo combination schemes were developed and compared in the presence of subject motion, and the methods were applied in a patient study on cortical plasticity after peripheral nerve injury.