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Exp Brain Res. 2007 Jul;180(4):677-91. Epub 2007 Feb 13.

fMRI responses in medial frontal cortex that depend on the temporal frequency of visual input.

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Department of Cognitive Sciences, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-5100, USA.


Functional networks in the human brain have been investigated using electrophysiological methods (EEG/MEG, LFP, and MUA) and steady-state paradigms that apply periodic luminance or contrast modulation to drive cortical networks. We have used this approach with fMRI to characterize a cortical network driven by a checkerboard reversing at a fixed frequency. We found that the fMRI signals in voxels located in occipital cortex were increased by checkerboard reversal at frequencies ranging from 3 to 14 Hz. In contrast, the response of a cluster of voxels centered on basal medial frontal cortex depended strongly on the reversal frequency, consistently exhibiting a peak in the response for specific reversal frequencies between 3 and 5 Hz in each subject. The fMRI signals at the frontal voxels were positively correlated indicating a homogeneous cluster. Some of the occipital voxels were positively correlated to the frontal voxels apparently forming a large-scale functional network. Other occipital voxels were negatively correlated to the frontal voxels, suggesting a functionally distinct network. The results provide preliminary fMRI evidence that during visual stimulation, input frequency can be varied to engage different functional networks.

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