Event-related functional MRI: implications for cognitive psychology.

D’Esposito, Zarahn E, Aguirre GK.  1999.  Event-related functional MRI: implications for cognitive psychology., 1999 Jan. Psychological Bulletin. 125(1):155-164.


Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has rapidly emerged as a powerful technique in cognitive neuroscience. We describe and critique a new class of imaging experimental designs called event-related fMRI that exploit the temporal resolution of fMRI by modeling fMRI signal changes associated with behavioral trials as opposed to blocks of behavioral trials. Advantages of this method over block designs include the ability to (a) randomize trial presentations, (b) test for functional correlates of behavioral measures with greater power, (c) directly examine the neural correlates of temporally dissociable components of behavioral trials (e.g., the delay period of a working memory task), and (d) test for differences in the onset time of neural activity evoked by different trial types. Consequently, event-related fMRI has the potential to address a number of cognitive psychology questions with a degree of inferential and statistical power not previously available.



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