Integrating electrophysiology and neuroimaging in the study of human cognition

George R Mangun, J. B. Hopfinger, H. J. Heinze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Noninvasive recordings of electrical and magnetic fields generated by neuronal activity have helped to characterize the temporal sequencing and mechanisms underlying human cognition. Progress is being made toward the goal of localizing the intracranial loci at which many important electromagnetic signals are generated through the use of new analytic techniques and of scalp recordings of electromagnetic activity in neurological patients and through related work in animals. Such methods alone, however, do not yet have the three-dimensional spatial resolution that is necessary in order to identify the intracranial anatomical structures that are involved in the generation of externally recorded activity and, thus, cannot yet inform us with precision about the anatomical substrates of neural events. In comparison, neuroimaging methods, such as positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging, can provide higher spatial resolution information about which brain structures are involved in perceptual, motor, and cognitive processes. However, these imaging methods do not yield much information about the time course of brain activity. One promising approach is to combine electromagnetic recordings and functional neuroimaging in order to gain knowledge about the spatiotemporal organization of human cognition. Here we review how electrophysiology and functional neuroimaging can be combined in the study of attention in normal humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-130
Number of pages13
JournalBehavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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