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Diem Kieu Tran, Andrew V. Poliakov, Seth D. Friedman, Hannah E. Goldstein, Hillary A. Shurtleff, Katherine Bowen, Kristina E. Patrick, Molly Warner, Edward J. Novotny Jr., Jeffrey G. Ojemann, and Jason S. Hauptman


Assessing memory is often critical in surgical evaluation, although difficult to assess in young children and in patients with variable task abilities. While obtaining interpretable data from task-based functional MRI (fMRI) measures is common in compliant and awake patients, it is not known whether functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) data show equivalent results. If this were the case, it would have substantial clinical and research generalizability. To evaluate this possibility, the authors evaluated the concordance between fMRI and fcMRI data collected in a presurgical epilepsy cohort.


Task-based fMRI data for autobiographical memory tasks and resting-state fcMRI data were collected in patients with epilepsy evaluated at Seattle Children’s Hospital between 2010 and 2017. To assess memory-related activation and laterality, signal change in task-based measures was computed as a percentage of the average blood oxygen level–dependent signal over the defined regions of interest. An fcMRI data analysis was performed using 1000 Functional Connectomes Project scripts based on Analysis of Functional NeuroImages and FSL (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain Software Library) software packages. Lateralization indices (LIs) were estimated for activation and connectivity measures. The concordance between these two measures was evaluated using correlation and regression analysis.


In this epilepsy cohort studied, the authors observed concordance between fMRI activation and fcMRI connectivity, with an LI regression coefficient of 0.470 (R2 = 0.221, p = 0.00076).


Previously published studies have demonstrated fMRI and fcMRI overlap between measures of vision, attention, and language. In the authors’ clinical sample, task-based measures of memory and analogous resting-state mapping were similarly linked in pattern and strength. These results support the use of fcMRI methods as a proxy for task-based memory performance in presurgical patients, perhaps including those who are more limited in their behavioral compliance. Future investigations to extend these results will be helpful to explore how the magnitudes of effect are associated with neuropsychological performance and postsurgical behavioral changes.