BACKGROUND: The use of concurrent EEG-fMRI recordings has increased in recent years, allowing new avenues of medical and cognitive neuroscience research; however, currently used setups present problems with data quality and reproducibility.
NEW METHOD: We propose a compact experimental setup for concurrent EEG-fMRI at 4T and compare it to a more standard reference setup. The compact setup uses short EEG cables connecting to the amplifiers, which are placed right at the back of the head RF coil on a form-fitting extension force-locked to the patient MR bed. We compare the two setups in terms of sensitivity to MR-room environmental noise, interferences between measuring devices (EEG or fMRI), and sensitivity to functional responses in a visual stimulation paradigm.
RESULTS: The compact setup reduces the system sensitivity to both external noise and MR-induced artefacts by at least 60%, with negligible EEG noise induced from the mechanical vibrations of the cryogenic cooling compression pump.
COMPARISON WITH EXISTING METHODS: The compact setup improved EEG data quality and the overall performance of MR-artifact correction techniques. Both setups were similar in terms of the fMRI data, with higher reproducibility for cable placement within the scanner in the compact setup.
CONCLUSIONS: This improved compact setup may be relevant to MR laboratories interested in reducing the sensitivity of their EEG-fMRI experimental setup to external noise sources, setting up an EEG-fMRI workplace for the first time, or for creating a more reproducible configuration of equipment and cables. Implications for safety and ergonomics are discussed.
- Concurrent EEG–FMRI;
- EEG cable length
- Multimodal neuroimaging
- Data quality
- Cryogenic pump noise