Characterization of Noise Signatures of Involuntary Head Motion in the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange Repository.
ABSTRACT: The variability inherently present in biophysical data is partly contributed by disparate sampling resolutions across instrumentations. This poses a potential problem for statistical inference using pooled data in open access repositories. Such repositories combine data collected from multiple research sites using variable sampling resolutions. One example is the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange repository containing thousands of imaging and demographic records from participants in the spectrum of autism and age-matched neurotypical controls. Further, statistical analyses of groups from different diagnoses and demographics may be challenging, owing to the disparate number of participants across different clinical subgroups. In this paper, we examine the noise signatures of head motion data extracted from resting state fMRI data harnessed under different sampling resolutions. We characterize the quality of the noise in the variability of the raw linear and angular speeds for different clinical phenotypes in relation to age-matched controls. Further, we use bootstrapping methods to ensure compatible group sizes for statistical comparison and report the ranges of physical involuntary head excursions of these groups. We conclude that different sampling rates do affect the quality of noise in the variability of head motion data and, consequently, the type of random process appropriate to characterize the time series data. Further, given a qualitative range of noise, from pink to brown noise, it is possible to characterize different clinical subtypes and distinguish them in relation to ranges of neurotypical controls. These results may be of relevance to the pre-processing stages of the pipeline of analyses of resting state fMRI data, whereby head motion enters the criteria to clean imaging data from motion artifacts.
Project description:Noise correction is a critical step towards accurate mapping of resting state BOLD fMRI connectivity. Noise sources related to head motion or physiology are typically modelled by nuisance regressors, and a generalised linear model is applied to regress out the associated signal variance. In this study, we use independent component analysis (ICA) to characterise the data variance typically discarded in this pre-processing stage in a cohort of 12 healthy volunteers. The signal variance removed by 24, 12, 6, or only 3 head motion parameters demonstrated network structure typically associated with functional connectivity, and certain networks were discernable in the variance extracted by as few as 2 physiologic regressors. Simulated nuisance regressors, unrelated to the true data noise, also removed variance with network structure, indicating that any group of regressors that randomly sample variance may remove highly structured "signal" as well as "noise." Furthermore, to support this we demonstrate that random sampling of the original data variance continues to exhibit robust network structure, even when as few as 10% of the original volumes are considered. Finally, we examine the diminishing returns of increasing the number of nuisance regressors used in pre-processing, showing that excessive use of motion regressors may do little better than chance in removing variance within a functional network. It remains an open challenge to understand the balance between the benefits and confounds of noise correction using nuisance regressors.
Project description:Recent resting-state functional connectivity fMRI (RS-fcMRI) research has demonstrated that head motion during fMRI acquisition systematically influences connectivity estimates despite bandpass filtering and nuisance regression, which are intended to reduce such nuisance variability. We provide evidence that the effects of head motion and other nuisance signals are poorly controlled when the fMRI time series are bandpass-filtered but the regressors are unfiltered, resulting in the inadvertent reintroduction of nuisance-related variation into frequencies previously suppressed by the bandpass filter, as well as suboptimal correction for noise signals in the frequencies of interest. This is important because many RS-fcMRI studies, including some focusing on motion-related artifacts, have applied this approach. In two cohorts of individuals (n=117 and 22) who completed resting-state fMRI scans, we found that the bandpass-regress approach consistently overestimated functional connectivity across the brain, typically on the order of r=.10-.35, relative to a simultaneous bandpass filtering and nuisance regression approach. Inflated correlations under the bandpass-regress approach were associated with head motion and cardiac artifacts. Furthermore, distance-related differences in the association of head motion and connectivity estimates were much weaker for the simultaneous filtering approach. We recommend that future RS-fcMRI studies ensure that the frequencies of nuisance regressors and fMRI data match prior to nuisance regression, and we advocate a simultaneous bandpass filtering and nuisance regression strategy that better controls nuisance-related variability.
Project description:It has been known for decades that head motion/other artifacts affect the blood oxygen level-dependent signal. Recent recommendations predominantly focus on denoising resting state data, which may not apply to task data due to the different statistical relationships that exist between signal and noise sources. Several blind-source denoising strategies (FIX and AROMA) and more standard motion parameter (MP) regression (0, 12, or 24 parameters) analyses were therefore compared across four sets of event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (erfMRI) and block-design (bdfMRI) datasets collected with multiband 32- (repetition time [TR] = 460?ms) or older 12-channel (TR = 2,000?ms) head coils. The amount of motion varied across coil designs and task types. Quality control plots indicated small to moderate relationships between head motion estimates and percent signal change in both signal and noise regions. Blind-source denoising strategies eliminated signal as well as noise relative to MP24 regression; however, the undesired effects on signal depended both on algorithm (FIX?>?AROMA) and design (bdfMRI?>?erfMRI). Moreover, in contrast to previous results, there were minimal differences between MP12/24 and MP0 pipelines in both erfMRI and bdfMRI designs. MP12/24 pipelines were detrimental for a task with both longer block length (30 ± 5 s) and higher correlations between head MPs and design matrix. In summary, current results suggest that there does not appear to be a single denoising approach that is appropriate for all fMRI designs. However, even nonaggressive blind-source denoising approaches appear to remove signal as well as noise from task-related data at individual subject and group levels.
Project description:Physiological noise remains a major problem in MRI, particularly at higher imaging resolutions and field strengths. The aim of this work was to investigate the feasibility of using an MR-compatible in-bore camera system to perform contactless monitoring of cardiac and respiratory information during MRI of human subjects.An MR-compatible camera was mounted on an eight-channel head coil. Video data of the skin was processed offline to derive cardiac and respiratory signals from the pixel signal intensity and from head motion in the patient head-feet direction. These signals were then compared with data acquired simultaneously from the pulse oximeter and the respiratory belt.The cardiac signal computed using the average image pixel intensity closely resembled the signal obtained using the pulse oximeter. Trigger intervals obtained from both systems matched to within 50 ms (one standard deviation). The respiratory signal computed from small in-plane movements closely matched the signal obtained from the respiratory belt. Simultaneous MR imaging did not appear to have an effect on the physiological signals acquired by means of the contact-free monitoring system.Contact-free monitoring of human subjects to obtain cardiac and respiratory information is feasible using a small camera and light emitting diode mounted on the head coil of an MRI scanner.
Project description:Compared with conventional MRI, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is more prone to thermal noise and motion. Optimized sampling schemes have been proposed that reduce the propagation of noise. At 3 T, however, motion may play a more dominant role than noise. Although the effects of noise at 3 T are less compared with 1.5 T because of the higher signal-to-noise ratio, motion is independent of field strength and will persist. To improve the reliability of clinical DTI at 3 T, it is important to know to what extent noise and motion contribute to the uncertainties of the DTI indices. In this study, the effects of noise- and motion-related signal uncertainties are disentangled using in vivo measurements and computer simulations. For six clinically standard available sampling schemes, the reproducibility was assessed in vivo, with and without motion correction applied. Additionally, motion and noise simulations were performed to determine the relative contributions of motion and noise to the uncertainties of the mean diffusivity (MD) and fractional anisotropy (FA). It is shown that the contributions of noise and motion are of the same order of magnitude at 3 T. Similar to the propagation of noise, the propagation of motion-related signal perturbations is also influenced by the choice of sampling scheme. Sampling schemes with only six diffusion directions demonstrated a lower reproducibility compared with schemes with 15 and 32 directions and feature a positive bias for the FA in relatively isotropic tissue. Motion correction helps improving the precision and accuracy of DTI indices.
Project description:PURPOSE:To enable rigid body motion-tolerant parallel volumetric magnetic resonance imaging by retrospective head motion correction on a variety of spatiotemporal scales and imaging sequences. THEORY AND METHODS:Tolerance against rigid body motion is based on distributed and incoherent sampling orders for boosting a joint retrospective motion estimation and reconstruction framework. Motion resilience stems from the encoding redundancy in the data, as generally provided by the coil array. Hence, it does not require external sensors, navigators or training data, so the methodology is readily applicable to sequences using 3D encodings. RESULTS:Simulations are performed showing full inter-shot corrections for usual levels of in vivo motion, large number of shots, standard levels of noise and moderate acceleration factors. Feasibility of inter- and intra-shot corrections is shown under controlled motion in vivo. Practical efficacy is illustrated by high-quality results in most corrupted of 208 volumes from a series of 26 clinical pediatric examinations collected using standard protocols. CONCLUSIONS:The proposed framework addresses the rigid motion problem in volumetric anatomical brain scans with sufficient encoding redundancy which has enabled reliable pediatric examinations without sedation.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>To resolve the motion-induced phase variations in multi-shot multi-direction diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) by applying regularization to magnitude images.<h4>Theory and methods</h4>A nonlinear model was developed to estimate phase and magnitude images separately. A locally low-rank regularization (LLR) term was applied to the magnitude images from all diffusion-encoding directions to exploit the spatial and angular correlation. In vivo experiments with different resolutions and b-values were performed to validate the proposed method.<h4>Results</h4>The proposed method significantly reduces the noise level compared to the conventional reconstruction method and achieves submillimeter (0.8mm and 0.9mm isotropic resolutions) DWI with a b-value of 1,000 s/mm2 and 1-mm isotropic DWI with a b-value of 2,000 s/mm2 without modification of the sequence.<h4>Conclusions</h4>A joint reconstruction method with spatial-angular LLR regularization on magnitude images substantially improves multi-direction DWI reconstruction, simultaneously removes motion-induced phase artifacts, and denoises images.
Project description:Head motion estimates in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans appear qualitatively different with sub-second image sampling rates compared to the multi-second sampling rates common in the past. Whereas formerly the head appeared still for much of a scan with brief excursions from baseline, the head now appears to be in constant motion, and motion estimates often seem to divulge little information about what is happening in a scan. This constant motion has been attributed to respiratory oscillations that do not alias at faster sampling rates, and investigators are divided on the extent to which such motion is "real" motion or only "apparent" pseudomotion. Some investigators have abandoned the use of motion estimates entirely due to these considerations. Here we investigate the properties of motion in several fMRI datasets sampled at rates between 720 and 1160?ms, and describe 5 distinct kinds of respiratory motion: 1) constant real respiratory motion in the form of head nodding most evident in vertical position and pitch, which can be very large; 2) constant pseudomotion at the same respiratory rate as real motion, occurring only in the phase encode direction; 3) punctate real motions occurring at times of very deep breaths; 4) a low-frequency pseudomotion in only the phase encode direction at and after very deep breaths; 5) slow modulation of vertical and anterior-posterior head position by the respiratory envelope. We reformulate motion estimates in light of these considerations and obtain good concordance between motion estimates, physiologic records, image quality measures, and events evident in the fMRI signals. We demonstrate how variables describing respiration or body habitus separately scale with distinct kinds of head motion. We also note heritable aspects of respiration and motion.
Project description:Differing noise variance across study populations has been shown to cause artifactual group differences in functional connectivity measures. In this study, we investigate the use of short echo time functional MRI data to correct for these noise sources in blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD)-weighted time series. A dual-echo sequence was used to simultaneously acquire data at both a short (TE=3.3 ms) and a BOLD-weighted (TE=35 ms) echo time. This approach is effectively "free," using dead-time in the pulse sequence to collect an additional echo without affecting overall scan time or temporal resolution. The proposed correction method uses voxelwise regression of the short TE data from the BOLD-weighted data to remove noise variance. In addition to a typical resting state scan, non-compliant behavior associated with patient groups was simulated via increased head motion or physiological fluctuations in 10 subjects. Short TE data showed significant correlations with the traditional motion-related and physiological noise regressors used in current connectivity analyses. Following traditional preprocessing, the extent of significant additional variance explained by the short TE data regressors was significantly correlated with the average head motion across the scan in the resting data (r(2)=0.93, p<0.0001). The reduction in data variance following the inclusion of short TE regressors was also correlated with scan head motion (r(2)=0.48, p=0.027). Task-related data were used to demonstrate the effects of the short TE correction on BOLD activation time series with known temporal structure; the size and strength of the activation were significantly decreased, but it is not clear whether this reflects BOLD contamination in the short TE data or correlated changes in blood volume. Finally, functional connectivity maps of the default mode network were constructed using a seed correlation approach. The effects of short TE correction and low-pass filtering on the resulting correlations maps were compared. Results suggest that short TE correction more accurately differentiates artifactual correlations from the correlations of interest in conditions of amplified noise.
Project description:The quality of functional MRI (fMRI) data is affected by head motion. It has been shown that fMRI data quality can be improved by prospectively updating the gradients and radio-frequency pulses in response to head motion during image acquisition by using an MR-compatible optical tracking system (prospective motion correction, or PMC). Recent studies showed that PMC improves the temporal Signal to Noise Ratio (tSNR) of resting state fMRI data (rs-fMRI) acquired from subjects not moving intentionally. Besides that, the time courses of Independent Components (ICs), resulting from Independent Component Analysis (ICA), were found to present significant temporal correlation with the motion parameters recorded by the camera. However, the benefits of applying PMC for improving the quality of rs-fMRI acquired under large head movements and its effects on resting state networks (RSN) and connectivity matrices are still unknown. In this study, subjects were instructed to cross their legs at will while rs-fMRI data with and without PMC were acquired, which generated head motion velocities ranging from 4 to 30 mm/s. We also acquired fMRI data without intentional motion. Independent component analysis of rs-fMRI was performed to evaluate IC maps and time courses of RSNs. We also calculated the temporal correlation among different brain regions and generated connectivity matrices for the different motion and PMC conditions. In our results we verified that the crossing leg movements reduced the tSNR of sessions without and with PMC by 45 and 20%, respectively, when compared to sessions without intentional movements. We have verified an interaction between head motion speed and PMC status, showing stronger attenuation of tSNR for acquisitions without PMC than for those with PMC. Additionally, the spatial definition of major RSNs, such as default mode, visual, left and right central executive networks, was improved when PMC was enabled. Furthermore, motion altered IC-time courses by decreasing power at low frequencies and increasing power at higher frequencies (typically associated with artefacts). PMC partially reversed these alterations of the power spectra. Finally, we showed that PMC provides temporal correlation matrices for data acquired under motion conditions more comparable to those obtained by fMRI sessions where subjects were instructed not to move.