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Inter-slice leakage and intra-slice aliasing in simultaneous multi-slice echo-planar images

McNabb, C. B. ORCID:, Lindner, M., Shen, S., Burgess, L. G., Murayama, K. and Johnstone, T. (2020) Inter-slice leakage and intra-slice aliasing in simultaneous multi-slice echo-planar images. Brain Structure and Function, 225 (3). pp. 1153-1158. ISSN 1863-2661

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00429-020-02053-2


Simultaneous multi-slice (SMS) imaging is a popular technique for increasing acquisition speed in echo-planar imaging (EPI) fMRI. However, SMS data are prone to motion sensitivity and slice leakage artefacts, which spread signal between simultaneously acquired slices. Relevant to motion sensitivity, artefacts from moving anatomic structures propagate along the phase-encoding (PE) direction. This is particularly relevant for eye movement. As signal from the eye is acquired along with signal from simultaneously excited slices during SMS, there is potential for signal to spread in-plane and between spatially remote slices. After identifying an artefact temporally coinciding with signal fluctuations in the eye and spatially distributed in correspondence with multiband slice acceleration and parallel imaging factors, we conducted a series of small experiments to investigate eye movement artefacts in SMS data and the contribution of PE direction to the invasiveness of these artefacts. Five healthy adult volunteers were scanned during a blinking task using a standard SMS-EPI protocol with posterior-to-anterior (P>>A), anterior-to-posterior (A>>P) or right-to-left (R>>L) PE direction. The intensity of signal fluctuations (artefact severity) was measured at expected artefact positions and control positions. We demonstrated a direct relationship between eye movements and artefact severity across expected artefact regions. Within-brain artefacts were apparent in P>>A- and A>>P-acquired data but not in R>>L data due to the shift in artefact positions. Further research into eye motion artefacts in SMS data is warranted but researchers should exercise caution with SMS protocols. We recommend rigorous piloting of SMS protocols and switching to R>>L/L>>R PE where feasible.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Neuroscience
ID Code:89202
Uncontrolled Keywords:slice leakage, fMRI, artefact, eye blink, multiband, phase-encoding direction


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