Estimation of neuronal task information in fMRI using zero frequency resonator

Sukesh Kumar Das, Anil K. Sao, Bharat B. Biswal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), temporal onsets of BOLD events contain crucial information on activity-inducing signals and make a significant impact in the analysis of functional connectivity (FC). In literature, the estimation of the onsets of the BOLD events from the acquired blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal using fMRI is mostly performed by choosing locations with a high value of the BOLD signal. This approach may give false onset points because it can incorporate redundant onsets which could be due to non-neuronal activity or can exclude true low-valued BOLD signals. In this study, we present a novel approach to estimating the temporal onsets of the BOLD events using a zero frequency resonator (ZFR) without necessitating information regarding the experimental paradigm (EP). The proposed approach exploits the impulse-like characteristic of activity-inducing signal to estimate the temporal onset points of BOLD events using ZFR which has been widely studied in the area of speech signal processing to estimate the glottal closure instances. The idea behind the approach is that an ideal neuronal impulse has, in principle, equal energy at all frequencies, including around the zero frequency, and will preserve the information of the temporal onsets of the BOLD events at its output. The ZFR-based approach estimates two important features, namely: 1) task-induced temporal onsets of the BOLD events in the fMRI time course and 2) high SNR (HSNR) regions around the estimated BOLD events. Both the estimated features are used to obtain the FC. Results are demonstrated using both the synthetic and experimental (event-related finger tapping and block design working memory) data. We show that a small number of plausible time points, estimated by ZFR, can convey sufficient information indicating the associated activation pattern. The method also illustrates its significance over the conventional correlation and threshold-based conditional rate analysis to estimate FC. The study demonstrates that ZFR-estimated BOLD events and HSNR regions can produce sufficient functionality of the brain in the task paradigm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number119865
StatePublished - Feb 15 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


  • Conditional rate map
  • Functional connectivity
  • Point process analysis
  • Temporal BOLD event estimation
  • Zero frequency resonator
  • fMRI


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