Methods for olfactory fMRI studies: Implication of respiration

Jian-li Wang, Xiaoyu Sun, Qing Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Human olfactory system is under-studied using fMRI compared with other sensory systems. Because the perception (intensity, threshold, and valence) and detection of odors are tightly involved with respiration, the subject's respiration pattern modulates and interacts with the experimental paradigm, which presents difficulties for olfactory fMRI data acquisition, post-processing, and interpretation. Based on our investigation on the interactions of odor presentation and subject's respiration, we propose a respiration-triggered event-related olfactory fMRI technique and a data post-processing method that effectively captures precise onsets of olfactory blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal in the primary olfactory cortex. We compared the olfactory BOLD signals from seventeen normal healthy adults with diverse respiratory patterns and showed that the subjects' respiratory patterns modulated the olfactory stimulation paradigm, which significantly confounded the BOLD signal. The presented experimental technique provides a simple and effective means for generating reliable olfactory fMRI results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3616-3624
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Methods for olfactory fMRI studies: Implication of respiration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this