Indexed on: 09 May '06Published on: 09 May '06Published in: Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Different methods of assessing human brain function possess specific advantages and disadvantages compared to others, but it is believed that combining different approaches will provide greater information than can be obtained from each alone. For example, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has good spatial resolution but poor temporal resolution, whereas the converse is true for electrophysiological recordings (event-related potentials or ERPs). In this review of recent work, we highlight a novel approach to combining these modalities in a manner designed to increase information on the origins and locations of the generators of specific ERPs and the relationship between fMRI and ERP signals. Near infrared imaging techniques have also been studied as alternatives to fMRI and can be readily integrated with simultaneous electrophysiological recordings. Each of these modalities may in principle be also used in so-called steady-state acquisitions in which the correlational structure of signals from the brain may be analyzed to provide new insights into brain function.