Registering and analyzing rat fMRI data in the stereotaxic framework by exploiting intrinsic anatomical features.


Journal Article

The value of analyzing neuroimaging data on a group level has been well established in human studies. However, there is no standard procedure for registering and analyzing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data into common space in rodent fMRI studies. An approach for performing rat imaging data analysis in the stereotaxic framework is presented. This method is rooted in the biological observation that the skull shape and size of rat brain are essentially the same as long as their weights are within certain range. Registration is performed using rigid-body transformations without scaling or shearing, preserving the unique properties of the stable shape and size inherent in rat brain structure. Also, it does not require brain tissue masking and is not biased towards surface coil sensitivity profile. A standard rat brain atlas is used to facilitate the identification of activated areas in common space, allowing accurate region of interest analysis. This technique is evaluated from a group of rats (n=11) undergoing routine MRI scans; the registration accuracy is estimated to be within 400 microm. The analysis of fMRI data acquired with an electrical forepaw stimulation model demonstrates the utility of this technique. The method is implemented within the Analysis of Functional NeuroImages (AFNI) framework and can be readily extended to other studies.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Lu, H; Scholl, CA; Zuo, Y; Demny, S; Rea, W; Stein, EA; Yang, Y

Published Date

  • January 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 28 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 146 - 152

PubMed ID

  • 19608368

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19608368

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-5894

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0730-725X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.mri.2009.05.019


  • eng