Singletrial design

Single-trial designs are sometimes called event-related designs.(8,9) A series of stimuli are presented and the magnetic resonance signal response to each individual stimulus is measured. Single-trial designs may be coupled with sequences for very rapid image acquisition so that the temporal pattern of response to a single event can be resolved in detail. A single-trial design would be advantageous for our semantic analysis experiment if we were particularly interested in correlating some aspect of the behavioural response to each stimulus, for instance accuracy of decision or reaction time, with the neurovascular response measured using fMRI. A disadvantage of such designs is that signal changes induced by a single trial are generally weak compared with the 2 to 5 per cent signal changes that are typical in blocked periodic experiments.

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