Imaging transient, randomly occurring neuropsychological events in single subjects with positron emission tomography: An event-related count rate correlational analysis

David A. Silbersweig, Emily Stern, Leonard Schnorr, Christopher D. Frith, John Ashburner, Connie Cahill, Richard S.J. Frackowiak, Terry Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many neuropsychiatric symptom states are idiosyncratic, involuntary, randomly occurring, subjective, and transient. The brain states associated with these clinically important mental states cannot be imaged directly with existing positron emission tomography (PET) techniques. A new PET method that brings such mental/brain states under experimental control for analysis in single subjects is described. It utilizes a slow bolus H2 15O three-dimensional (3D) regional CBF imaging technique. The analysis focuses upon natural or experimentally induced variance in the temporal distribution of specific neuropsychological events over the course of a study session. For each scan, the amount of radioactivity entering the brain during these events is calculated to derive a score reflecting the contribution of the events to the image. A statistical analysis is then performed to identify those pixels in which the intensity covaries with the scan scores over the subject's scans. This permits the identification of the brain areas associated with the mental state of interest. The method is validated using an auditory sentence-monitoring task. The detection in single subjects of cerebral activations associated with recurrent events as brief as 2 s in duration is demonstrated. This method may be used as a means of imaging ephemeral neurologic or neuropsychiatric symptom states or as an alternative to a subtraction design for activation studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-782
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1994
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Event-related count rate correlational analysis
  • Functional brain imaging
  • O-labeled water
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Regional cerebral blood flow
  • Slow bolus technique

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