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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2013 Sep;15(3):381-6.

Simultaneous EEG and fMRI: towards the characterization of structure and dynamics of brain networks.

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University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Psychiatry Neuroimaging Branch, Hamburg, Germany.


in English, French, Spanish

Progress in the understanding of normal and disturbed brain function is critically dependent on the methodological approach that is applied. Both electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are extremely efficient methods for the assessment of human brain function. The specific appeal of the combination is related to the fact that both methods are complementary in terms of basic aspects: EEG is a direct measurement of neural mass activity and provides high temporal resolution. FMRI is an indirect measurement of neural activity and based on hemodynamic changes, and offers high spatial resolution. Both methods are very sensitive to changes of synaptic activity, suggesting that with simultaneous EEG and fMRI the same neural events can be characterized with both high temporal and spatial resolution. Since neural oscillations that can be assessed with EEG are a key mechanism for multi-site communication in the brain, EEG-fMRI can offer new insights into the connectivity mechanisms of brain networks.


EEG; fMRI; functional magnetic resonance imaging; multimodal imaging; neuroimaging

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