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Neuroimage. 2003 Sep;20(1):145-58.

Correlates of alpha rhythm in functional magnetic resonance imaging and near infrared spectroscopy.

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Department of Neurology, Charité, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.


We used simultaneous electroencephalogram-functional magnetic resonance imaging (EEG-fMRI) and EEG-near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to investigate whether changes of the posterior EEG alpha rhythm are correlated with changes in local cerebral blood oxygenation. Cross-correlation analysis of slowly fluctuating, spontaneous rhythms in the EEG and the fMRI signal revealed an inverse relationship between alpha activity and the fMRI-blood oxygen level dependent signal in the occipital cortex. The NIRS-EEG measurements demonstrated a positive cross-correlation in occipital cortex between alpha activity and concentration changes of deoxygenated hemoglobin, which peaked at a relative shift of about 8 s. Our data suggest that alpha activity in the occipital cortex is associated with metabolic deactivation. Mapping of spontaneously synchronizing distributed neuronal networks is thus shown to be feasible.

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