Modelling hemodynamic response function in epilepsy

S. F. Storti, E. Formaggio, A. Bertoldo, P. Manganotti, A. Fiaschi, G. M. Toffolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Electroencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can be combined to noninvasively map abnormal brain activation elicited by epileptic processes. A major aim was to investigate the impact of a subject-specific hemodynamic response function (HRF) to describe the differences across patients versus the use of a standard model. Methods: We developed and applied on simulated and real data a method designed to choose optimum HRF model for identifying fMRI activation maps. In simulation, the ability of five models to reproduce data was assessed: four standard and an individual-based HRF model (ibHRF). In clinical data, drug-resistant epileptic patients underwent fMRI to investigate hemodynamic responses evoked by interictal activity. Results: When data are simulated with models different from the standard ones, the results obtained with ibHRF are superior to those obtained with the standard HRFs. Results on real data indicate an increase in extent and degree of activation with the ibHRF in comparison of the results obtainable using standard HRFs. Conclusions: The use of the same HRF in all patients is inappropriate and resolves in biased extension of the activation maps. Significance: The new method could represent an useful diagnostic tool for other clinical studies that may be biased because of misspecification of HRF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2108-2118
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Drug-resistant epilepsy
  • EEG-fMRI
  • Hemodynamic response function
  • Individual-based HRF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Sensory Systems


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