BOLD signal physiology: Models and applications

C. J. Gauthier, A. P. Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The BOLD contrast mechanism has a complex relationship with functional brain activity, oxygen metabolism, and neurovascular factors. Accurate interpretation of the BOLD signal for neuroscience and clinical applications necessitates a clear understanding of the sources of BOLD contrast and its relationship to underlying physiology. This review describes the physiological components that contribute to the BOLD signal and the steady-state calibrated BOLD models that enable quantification of functional changes with a separate challenge paradigm. The principles derived from these biophysical models are then used to interpret BOLD measurements in different neurological disorders in the presence of confounding vascular factors related to disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-127
Number of pages12
StatePublished - Feb 15 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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