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Neuroimage. 2007 Oct 1;37(4):1033-41; discussion 1050-8.

In praise of tedious anatomy.

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  • 1Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance of the Brain, University of Oxford, UK.


Functional neuroimaging is fundamentally a tool for mapping function to structure, and its success consequently requires neuroanatomical precision and accuracy. Here we review the various means by which functional activation can be localised to neuroanatomy and suggest that the gold standard should be localisation to the individual's or group's own anatomy through the use of neuroanatomical knowledge and atlases of neuroanatomy. While automated means of localisation may be useful, they cannot provide the necessary accuracy, given variability between individuals. We also suggest that the field of functional neuroimaging needs to converge on a common set of methods for reporting functional localisation including a common "standard" space and criteria for what constitutes sufficient evidence to report activation in terms of Brodmann's areas.

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