Spatial/temporal correlation of BOLD and optical intrinsic signals in humans

Nader Pouratian, Nancy Sicotte, David Rex, Neil A. Martin, Donald Becker, Andrew F. Cannestra, Arthur W. Toga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Comparing the BOLD signal with electrophysiological maps and other perfusion-dependent signals, such as the optical intrinsic signal (OIS), within subjects should provide insight into the etiology of the BOLD signal. Tongue activations were compared in five human subjects using BOLD fMRI, 610-nm OIS, and the electrocortical stimulation map (ESM). Robust fMRI activations centered on the lateral inferior aspect of the central sulcus and extended into pre- and post-central gyri, adjacent to ESM tongue loci. OIS and fMRI maps colocalized, although optical responses were spatially larger (P < .001 across multiple thresholds) and contained more gyral components. The timecourses of the fMRI and OIS signals were similar, appearing within 2.5 s and peaking 6-8 s after task onset. Although many processes contribute to increased 610-nm reflectance, optical spectroscopy and fluorescent dye imaging suggest that a significant part of this signal is due to a concomitant decrease in deoxyhemoglobin and increase in oxyhemoglobin concentrations. The spatial/temporal correlation of BOLD and the positive 610-nm response within subjects suggests that the two signals may share similar etiologies. The OIS/fMRI inconsistencies may be due to cell swelling and light-scattering contributions to OIS and fMRI sensitivity. This study also demonstrates that fMRI maps do not precisely colocalize with ESM, rather they emphasize changes in adjacent venous/sulcal structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)766-776
Number of pages11
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • BOLD
  • Electrocortical stimulation mapping
  • fMRI
  • Optical imaging
  • Within-subject analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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