Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) has been shown to elucidate reliable patterns of brain networks in both children and adults. Studies in adults have shown that rs-fMRI acquisition times of ∼5 to 6 min provide adequate sampling to produce stable spatial maps of a number of different brain networks. However, it is unclear whether the acquisition time directly translates to studies of children. While there are many similarities between the brains of children and adults, many differences are also evident. Children have increased metabolism, differences in brain morphology and connectivity strengths, greater brain plasticity, and increased brain noise. Furthermore, there are differences in physiologic parameters, such as heart and respiratory rates, and compliance of the blood vessels. These developmental differences could translate into different acquisition times for rs-fMRI studies in pediatric populations. Longer scan times, however, increase the subject burden and the risk for greater movement, especially in children. Thus, the goal of this study was to assess the optimum acquisition time of rs-fMRI to extract stable brain networks in school-age children. We utilized fuzzy set theory in 84 six-to-eight year-old children and found that eight networks, including the default mode, salience, frontal, left frontoparietal, right frontoparietal, sensorimotor, auditory, and visual networks, all stabilized after ∼5½ min. The sensorimotor network showed the least stability, whereas the salience and auditory networks showed the greatest stability. A secondary analysis using dual regression confirmed these results. In conclusion, in young children with little head motion, rs-fMRI acquisition times of ∼5½ min can extract the full complement of brain networks.

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Brain connectivity
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology

White, T., Muetzel, R., Schmidt, M., Langeslag, S., Jaddoe, V., Hofman, A., … Tiemeier, H. (2014). Time of acquisition and network stability in pediatric resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Brain connectivity, 4(6), 417–427. doi:10.1089/brain.2013.0195