Simultaneous EEG/functional magnetic resonance imaging at 4 Tesla: Correlates of brain activity to spontaneous alpha rhythm during relaxation

Academic Article


  • Simultaneous EEG and functional magnetic resonance imaging have been applied to the study of brain states associated with alpha waves using a magnetic field strength of 1.5 Tesla and has been shown in recent years to be feasible up to 3 Tesla for other applications. This study demonstrates this technique's continued viability at a field strength of 4 Tesla, affording a proportionally greater sensitivity to changes in Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) signal. In addition, for the study of alpha correlations, the authors used a larger number of subjects and scanning sessions than in the previous work. Random effects group regression analysis of 35 EEG/functional magnetic resonance imaging sessions against occipital alpha magnitude in a relaxed state detected bilateral widespread activation of dorsal thalamus and portions of the anterior cingulate and cerebellum. In the same group analysis, deactivations arose predominantly in the fusiform and adjacent visual association areas with a small activation cluster also detected in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This pattern is consistent with a correspondence between alpha magnitude variations and resting state network dynamics ascertained by recent studies of low frequency spontaneous BOLD fluctuations. The central role of the thalamus in resting state networks correlated with alpha activity is highlighted. Demonstrating the applicability of simultaneous EEG/functional magnetic resonance imaging up to 4 Tesla is particularly important for clinically relevant research involving challenging spontaneous EEG abnormalities, such as those of epilepsy. Copyright © 2008 American Clinical Neurophysiology Society.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • DiFrancesco MW; Holland SK; Szaflarski JP
  • Start Page

  • 255
  • End Page

  • 264
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 5