Education, tips and tricks to help you conduct better fMRI experiments.
Sure, you can try to fix it during data processing, but you're usually better off fixing the acquisition!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Common persistent EPI artifacts: Abnormally high N/2 ghosts (1/2)

In this and a subsequent post I am going to cover some common situations when the N/2 ghosts can become abnormally high, i.e. higher than it is possible to achieve with comparatively small tweaks to the setup. For now I am going to restrict the discussion to temporally static, or persistent, ghosts. Furthermore, I will restrict the discussion to situations over which you can exert some control, usually through the subject setup and via EPI parameter selection. I'll cover the origins of dynamic ghosts later on in this series, once you've got a better grasp of the common persistent ghosting sources and are in a position to differentiate between a source that is intermittent and a (persistent) ghost that is being modulated by subject motion.

Before we get into the different experimental conditions that can lead to abnormally high ghosting, it is important that you are familiar with the reason why N/2 ghosts arise in EPI in the first place. So, if the following section sounds like Swahili (and you don't ordinarily speak Swahili) then I would encourage you to spend twenty minutes reviewing the section on N/2 ghosts in PFUFA Part Twelve before continuing here.