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Nat Methods. 2007 Feb;4(2):161-8. Epub 2006 Dec 17.

MRI-based localization of electrophysiological recording sites within the cerebral cortex at single-voxel accuracy.

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Department of Physiology, The University of Tokyo School of Medicine, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


The localization of microelectrode recording sites in the layers of primate cerebral cortex permits the analysis of relationships between recorded neuronal activities and underlying anatomical connections. We present a magnetic resonance imaging method for precise in vivo localization of cortical recording sites. In this method, the susceptibility-induced effect thickens the appearance of the microelectrode and enhances the detectability of the microelectrode tip, which usually occupies less than a few percent of the volume of an image voxel. In a phantom study, the optimized susceptibility-induced effect allowed tip detection with single-voxel accuracy (in-plane resolution, 50 mum). We applied this method to recording microelectrodes inserted into the brains of macaque monkeys, and localized the microelectrode tip at an in-plane resolution of 150 mum within the cortex of 2-3 mm in thickness. Subsequent histological analyses validated the single-voxel accuracy of the in vivo tip localization. This method opens up a way to investigate information flow during cognitive processes in the brain.

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