Separation of physiological very low frequency fluctuation from aliasing by switched sampling interval fMRI scans

Magn Reson Imaging. 2005 Jan;23(1):41-6. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2004.09.005.


Anesthetized children have dominant blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal sources presenting high-power fluctuations at very low frequencies (VLF <0.05 Hz). Aliasing of frequencies higher than critically sampled has been regarded as one probable origin of the VLF fluctuations. Aliased signal frequencies change when the sampling rate of the data is altered. In this study, the aliasing of VLF BOLD signal fluctuation was analysed by switching the repetition time (TR) of magnetic resonance (MR) images. Eleven anesthetized children were imaged at 1.5 T using TRs of 500 and 1200 ms. The BOLD signal sources were separated with independent component analysis (ICA). Occipital cortex signal sources had nonaliased VLF fluctuation ( approximately 0.03 Hz) in 9 of 11 subjects. Arterial signal sources failed to present stable power peaks at frequencies lower than 0.42 Hz presumably due to aliasing. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-related signal sources showed nonaliased VLF in four subjects. In conclusion, the VLF BOLD signal fluctuation in the occipital cortex is a true physiological fluctuation, not a result of signal aliasing.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia / methods
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted


  • Oxygen