Assessing motor, visual and language function using a single 5-minute fMRI paradigm: three birds with one stone

Simona Fiori, Carolin Zendler, Till Karsten Hauser, Karen Lidzba, Marko Wilke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinical functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) requires inferences on localization of major brain functions at the individual subject level. We hypothesized that a single “triple use” task would satisfy sensitivity and reliability requirements for successfully assessing the motor, visual and language domain in this context. This was tested here by the application in a group of healthy adults, assessing sensitivity and reliability at the individual subject level, separately for each domain. Our “triple use” task consisted of 2 conditions (condition 1, assessing motor and visual domain, and condition 2, assessing the language domain), serving mutually as active/control. We included 20 healthy adult subjects. Random effect analyses showed activation in primary motor, visual and language regions, as expected. Less expected regions were activated both for the motor and visual domains. Further, reliability of primary activation patterns was very high across individual subjects, with activation seen in 70–100% of subjects in primary motor, visual, and left-lateralized language regions. These findings suggest the “triple use” task to be reliable at the individual subject’s level to assess motor, visual and language domains in the clinical fMRI context. Benefits of such an approach include shortening of acquisition time, simplicity of the task for each domain, and using a visual stimulus. Following establishment of reliability in adults, the task may also be a valuable addition in the pediatric clinical fMRI context, where each of these factors is of high relevance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Feb 26 2018


  • Children
  • Clinical functional MRI
  • Language
  • Motor
  • Triple use
  • Visual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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