Noninvasive localization of brain function is used to understand and treat neurological disease, exemplified by pre-operative fMRI mapping prior to neurosurgical intervention. The principal approach for generating these maps relies on brain responses evoked by a task and, despite known limitations, has dominated clinical practice for over 20years. Recently, pre-operative fMRI mapping based on correlations in spontaneous brain activity has been demonstrated, however this approach has its own limitations and has not seen widespread clinical use. Here we show that spontaneous and task-based mapping can be performed together using the same pre-operative fMRI data, provide complimentary information relevant for functional localization, and can be combined to improve identification of eloquent motor cortex. Accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of our approach are quantified through comparison with electrical cortical stimulation mapping in eight patients with intractable epilepsy. Broad applicability and reproducibility of our approach are demonstrated through prospective replication in an independent dataset of six patients from a different center. In both cohorts and every individual patient, we see a significant improvement in signal to noise and mapping accuracy independent of threshold, quantified using receiver operating characteristic curves. Collectively, our results suggest that modifying the processing of fMRI data to incorporate both task-based and spontaneous activity significantly improves functional localization in pre-operative patients. Because this method requires no additional scan time or modification to conventional pre-operative data acquisition protocols it could have widespread utility.
Faculty, Northwell Researcher
School of Medicine; Northwell Health