Mapping of the central sulcus with functional MR: Active versus passive activation tasks

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PURPOSE: Our purpose was to assess the pattern of functional MR activation obtained with a passive sensory versus an active sensorimotor hand stimulus paradigm. METHODS: Eight functional MR runs, four with an active sensorimotor (sponge-squeezing) task and four with a passive sensory (palm- finger brushing) reception, were acquired for each of 10 healthy volunteers. Activation maps were generated by thresholding cross-correlation maps. Regions of interests (ROIs) were drawn around the precentral and postcentral gyri on T1-weighted images according to established anatomic criteria, and the number of activated pixels inside the ROIs was ascertained. Displacement of the sensorimotor and sensory activation centroids within the ROIs from the central sulcus as well as from each other was measured. RESULTS: Active sensorimotor stimulation produced a significantly greater number of activation pixels than did passive sensory stimulation. Run-to-run variability was equivalent between sensorimotor and sensory activation tasks. On average, the sensorimotor and sensory activation centroids were located in the postcentral gyrus, and their spatial locations were not significantly different. CONCLUSION: Active and passive activation tasks produce largely equivalent results. Presurgical mapping of the sensorimotor area can be performed with functional MR imaging using a passive palm-finger brushing task in patients who are physically unable to perform active finger-tapping or hand-squeezing sensorimotor activation tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-852
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

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