Atlas-based multichannel monitoring of functional MRI signals in real-time: automated approach.


Jong-Hwan Lee, Heather M O'Leary, HyunWook Park, Ferenc A Jolesz, and Seung-Schik Yoo. 2008. “Atlas-based multichannel monitoring of functional MRI signals in real-time: automated approach.” Hum Brain Mapp, 29, 2, Pp. 157-66. Copy at


We report an automated method to simultaneously monitor blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) MR signals from multiple cortical areas in real-time. Individual brain anatomy was normalized and registered to a pre-segmented atlas in standardized anatomical space. Subsequently, using real-time fMRI (rtfMRI) data acquisition, localized BOLD signals were measured and displayed from user-selected areas labeled with anatomical and Brodmann's Area (BA) nomenclature. The method was tested on healthy volunteers during the performance of hand motor and internal speech generation tasks employing a trial-based design. Our data normalization and registration algorithm, along with image reconstruction, movement correction and a data display routine were executed with enough processing and communication bandwidth necessary for real-time operation. Task-specific BOLD signals were observed from the hand motor and language areas. One of the study participants was allowed to freely engage in hand clenching tasks, and associated brain activities were detected from the motor-related neural substrates without prior knowledge of the task onset time. The proposed method may be applied to various applications such as neurofeedback, brain-computer-interface, and functional mapping for surgical planning where real-time monitoring of region-specific brain activity is needed.