Functional MRI at 1.5 tesla: A comparison of the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal and electrophysiology

Elizabeth A. Disbrow, Daniel A. Slutsky, Timothy P L Roberts, Leah A. Krubitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

149 Scopus citations

Abstract

How well does the functional MRI (fMRI) signal reflect underlying electrophysiology? Despite the ubiquity of the technique, this question has yet to be adequately answered. Therefore, we have compared cortical maps generated based on the indirect blood oxygenation level-dependent signal of fMRI with maps from microelectrode recording techniques, which directly measure neural activity. Identical somatosensory stimuli were used in both sets of experiments in the same anesthetized macaque monkeys. Our results demonstrate that fMRI can be used to determine the topographic organization of cortical fields with 55% concordance to electrophysiological maps. The variance in the location of fMRI activation was greatest in the plane perpendicular to local vessels. An appreciation of the limitations of fMRI improves our ability to use it effectively to study cortical organization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9718-9723
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume97
Issue number17
StatePublished - Aug 15 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

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