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Science. 1991 Nov 1;254(5032):716-9.

Functional mapping of the human visual cortex by magnetic resonance imaging.

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  • 1Massachusetts General Hospital-NMR Center, Charlestown 02129.


Knowledge of regional cerebral hemodynamics has widespread application for both physiological research and clinical assessment because of the well-established interrelation between physiological function, energy metabolism, and localized blood supply. A magnetic resonance technique was developed for quantitative imaging of cerebral hemodynamics, allowing for measurement of regional cerebral blood volume during resting and activated cognitive states. This technique was used to generate the first functional magnetic resonance maps of human task activation, by using a visual stimulus paradigm. During photic stimulation, localized increases in blood volume (32 +/- 10 percent, n = 7 subjects) were detected in the primary visual cortex. Center-of-mass coordinates and linear extents of brain activation within the plane of the calcarine fissure are reported.

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