The blind, the lame, and the poor signals of brain function--a comment on Sirotin and Das (2009)

NeuroImage
Andreas Kleinschmidt, Notger G Müller

Abstract

Last year, a study appeared that questioned the generally held assumption of a generic coupling between electrical and hemodynamic signs of neural activity (Sirotin and Das, 2009). Although the findings of that study can barely surprise the specialists in the field, it has caused a considerable confusion in the nonspecialist community due to the unwarranted claim of having discovered a "hitherto unknown signal." According to this claim, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) would pick up not only signals that reflect electrical brain activity but also purely hemodynamic signals that are not linked to neural activity. Here, we show that that study's failure to obtain significant electrophysiological responses to task structure is easily understood on the basis of findings reported for related functional paradigms. Ironically and counter its intention, the study by Sirotin and Das reminds us of the exquisite sensitivity of spatially pooled hemodynamic signals and the limitations of recording only very local samples of electrical activity by microelectrodes. We suggest that this sensitivity of hemodynamic signals should be converted into spatial resolution. In other words, hemodynamic signals should be used to create maps. ...Continue Reading

References

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Citations

Jun 8, 2012·The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience·Tiffany HoJohn T Serences
Nov 16, 2012·The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience·Preeti VergheseAlex R Wade
Jun 1, 2012·The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience·Miranda ScolariJohn T Serences
Aug 16, 2011·Neuropsychologia·John T Serences, Sameer Saproo
Mar 10, 2016·Frontiers in Neural Circuits·Ryan T PhilipsV Srinivasa Chakravarthy
Jan 1, 2012·Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Cognitive Science·Jozien GoenseNikos K Logothetis
Nov 1, 2011·NeuroImage·Yevgeniy B SirotinAniruddha Das
Apr 22, 2010·NeuroImage·Daniel A Handwerker, Peter A Bandettini
Dec 1, 2011·Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism : Official Journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism·Aneurin J KennerleyJason Berwick
Apr 20, 2019·PLoS Biology·Mariana M B CardosoAniruddha Das

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