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Trends Neurosci. 2002 Jan;25(1):27-31.

How well do we understand the neural origins of the fMRI BOLD signal?

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Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, University of Cambridge, Box 65, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, CB2 2QQ, Cambridge, UK.

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  • Trends Neurosci 2002 Mar;25(3):169.


The successful use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as a way of visualizing cortical function depends largely on the important relationships between the signal observed and the underlying neuronal activity that it is believed to represent. Currently, a relatively direct correlation seems to be favoured between fMRI signals and population synaptic activity (including inhibitory and excitatory activity), with a secondary and potentially more variable correlation with cellular action potentials.

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