Complex relationship between BOLD signal and synchronization/ desynchronization of human brain MEG oscillations

Georg Winterer, Frederick W. Carver, Francesco Musso, Venkata Mattay, Daniel R. Weinberger, Richard Coppola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) depends on the coupling of cerebral blood flow, energy demand, and neural activity. The precise nature of this interaction, however, is poorly understood. A positive correlation between BOLD-response and cortically generated local field potentials, which reflect the weighted average of synchronized dentrosomatic components of pyramidal synaptic signals, has been demonstrated. Likewise, positive BOLD-responses have been reported in conjunction with scalp-recorded synchronized electromagnetic activity by a number of groups. However, it is not yet clear how the opposite electromagnetic pattern, i.e. cortical desynchronization, is related to the BOLD signal. To address this question, we conducted a combined event-related fMRI and 275 sensor whole-head MEG study during identical visual two-choice reaction time task conditions in 10 human subjects. We found complex sequences of MEG-synchronization and desynchronization across a wide frequency range in the visual and motor area in close correspondence with "locales" of positive BOLD-responses. These results indicate that a correspondence of positive BOLD-responses is not exclusively found for cortical synchronization but also for desynchronization, suggesting that the relationship between BOLD signals and electromagnetic activity might be more complex than previously thought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-816
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • BOLD
  • Desynchronization
  • MEG
  • Synchronization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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