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Detecting Static and Dynamic Differences between Eyes-Closed and Eyes-Open Resting States Using ASL and BOLD fMRI


Resting-state fMRI studies have increasingly focused on multi-contrast techniques, such as BOLD and ASL imaging. However, these techniques may reveal different aspects of brain activity (e.g., static vs. dynamic), and little is known about the similarity or disparity of these techniques in detecting resting-state brain activity. It is therefore important to assess the static and dynamic characteristics of these fMRI techniques to guide future applications. Here we acquired fMRI data while subjects were in eyes-closed (EC) and eyes-open (EO) states, using both ASL and BOLD techniques, at two research centers (NIDA and HNU). Static brain activity was calculated as voxel-wise mean cerebral blood flow (CBF) using ASL, i.e., CBF-mean, while dynamic activity was measured by the amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (ALFF) of BOLD, i.e., BOLD-ALFF, at both NIDA and HNU, and CBF, i.e., CBF-ALFF, at NIDA. We showed that mean CBF was lower under EC than EO in the primary visual cortex, while BOLD-ALFF was higher under EC in the primary somatosensory cortices extending to the primary auditory cortices and lower in the lateral occipital area. Interestingly, mean CBF and BOLD-ALFF results overlapped at the visual cortex to a very small degree. Importantly, these findings were largely replicated by the HNU dataset. State differences found by CBF-ALFF were located in the primary auditory cortices, which were generally a subset of BOLD-ALFF and showed no spatial overlap with CBF-mean. In conclusion, static brain activity measured by mean CBF and dynamic brain activity measured by BOLD- and CBF-ALFF may reflect different aspects of resting-state brain activity and a combination of ASL and BOLD may provide complementary information on the biophysical and physiological processes of the brain.

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