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Perspective ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.01024

White matter fMRI activation cannot be treated as a nuisance regressor: Overcoming a historical blind spot

 Lukas A. Grajauskas1, 2, Tory Frizzell2, 3,  Xiaowei Song1, 2 and Ryan C. D'Arcy3, 4, 5*
  • 1Department of Biomedical Physiology, and kinesiology, Simon Fraser University, Canada
  • 2ImageTech Lab, Surrey Memorial Hospital, Fraser Health, Canada
  • 3Faculty of Applied Science, Simon Fraser University, Canada
  • 4ImageTech Lab, Surrey Memorial Hospital ,, Fraser Health, Canada
  • 5Health Sciences and Innovation, Fraser Health,, Surrey Memorial Hospital, Canada

Despite past controversies, increasing evidence has led to acceptance that white matter activity is detectable using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In spite of this, advanced analytic methods continue to be published that reinforce a historic bias against white matter activation by using it as a nuisance regressor. It is important that contemporary analyses overcome this blind spot in whole brain functional imaging, both to ensure that newly developed noise regression techniques are accurate, and to ensure that white matter, a vital and understudied part of the brain, is not ignored in functional neuroimaging studies.

Keywords: fMRI, white matter, BOLD, motion regression approaches, fMRI analysis

Received: 12 Jun 2019; Accepted: 09 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Grajauskas, Frizzell, Song and D'Arcy. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Ryan C. D'Arcy, Fraser Health, ImageTech Lab, Surrey Memorial Hospital ,, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, ryan_darcy@sfu.ca