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Int J Psychophysiol. 2009 Aug;73(2):123-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2009.03.006. Epub 2009 May 3.

Recording event-related activity under hostile magnetic resonance environment: Is multimodal EEG/ERP-MRI recording possible?

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  • 1Gazi University, Medical Faculty, Department of Neuroradiology, Ankara, Turkey.


Event-related potentials (ERPs) have high temporal resolution, but insufficient spatial resolution; the converse is true for the functional imaging techniques. The purpose of the study was to test the utility of a multimodal EEG/ERP-MRI technique which combines electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for a simultaneously high temporal and spatial resolution. The sample consisted of 32 healthy young adults of both sexes. Auditory stimuli were delivered according to the active and passive oddball paradigms in the MRI environment (MRI-e) and in the standard conditions of the electrophysiology laboratory environment (Lab-e). Tasks were presented in a fixed order. Participants were exposed to the recording environments in a counterbalanced order. EEG data were preprocessed for MRI-related artifacts. Source localization was made using a current density reconstruction technique. The ERP waveforms for the MRI-e were morphologically similar to those for the Lab-e. The effect of the recording environment, experimental paradigm and electrode location were analyzed using a 2x2x3 analysis of variance for repeated measures. The ERP components in the two environments showed parametric variations and characteristic topographical distributions. The calculated sources were in line with the related literature. The findings indicated effortful cognitive processing in MRI-e. The study provided preliminary data on the feasibility of the multimodal EEG/ERP-MRI technique. It also indicated lines of research that are to be pursued for a decisive testing of this technique and its implementation to clinical practice.

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