Functional mapping of human sensorimotor cortex with 3D BOLD fMRI correlates highly with H215O PET rCBF

Nick F. Ramsey, Brenda S. Kirkby, Peter Van Gelderen, Karen F. Berman, Jeff H. Duyn, Joe A. Frank, Venkata S. Mattay, John D. Van Horn, Giuseppe Esposito, Chrit T.W. Moonen, Daniel R. Weinberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Positron emission tomography (PET) functional imaging is based on changes in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF). Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is based on a variety of physiological parameters as well as rCBF. This study is aimed at the cross validation of three-dimensional (3D) fMRI, which is sensitive to changes in blood oxygenation, with oxygen-15- labeled water (H215O) PET. Nine normal subjects repeatedly performed a simple finger opposition task during fMRI scans and during PET scans. Within- subject statistical analysis revealed significant ('activated') signal changes (p < 0.05, Bonferroni corrected for number of voxels) in contralateral primary sensorimotor cortex (PSM) in all subjects with fMRI and with PET. With both methods, 78% of all activated voxels were located in the PSM. Overlap of activated regions occurred in all subjects (mean 43%, SD 26%). The size of the activated regions in PSM with both methods was highly correlated (rho = 0.87, p < 0.01). The mean distance between centers of mass of the activated regions in the PSM for fMRI versus PET was 6.7 mm (SD 3.0 mm). Average magnitude of signal change in activated voxels in this region, expressed as z-values adapted to timeseries, z(t), was similar (fMRI 5.5, PET 5.3). Results indicate that positive blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal changes obtained with 3D principles of echo shifting with a train of observations (PRESTO) fMRI are correlated with rCBF, and that sensitivity of fMRI can equal that of H215O PET.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-764
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • BOLD
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Human brain
  • Motor cortex
  • Positron emission tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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