Geometrical interpretation of fMRI-guided MEG/EEG inverse estimates

Neuroimage. 2004 May;22(1):323-32. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2003.12.044.


Magneto- and electroencephalography (MEG/EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) provide complementary information about the functional organization of the human brain. An important advantage of MEG/EEG is the millisecond time resolution in detecting electrical activity in the cerebral cortex. The interpretation of MEG/EEG signals, however, is limited by the difficulty of determining the spatial distribution of the neural activity. Functional MRI can help in the MEG/EEG source analysis by suggesting likely locations of activity. We present a geometric interpretation of fMRI-guided inverse solutions in which the MEG/EEG source estimate minimizes a distance to a subspace defined by the fMRI data. In this subspace regularization (SSR) approach, the fMRI bias does not assume preferred amplitudes for MEG/EEG sources, only locations. Characteristic dependence of the source estimates on the regularization parameters is illustrated with simulations. When the fMRI locations match the true MEG/EEG source locations, they serve to bias the underdetermined MEG/EEG inverse solution toward the fMRI loci. Importantly, when the fMRI loci do not match the true MEG/EEG loci, the solution is insensitive to those fMRI loci.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Computer Simulation
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Electroencephalography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / statistics & numerical data*
  • Magnetoencephalography / statistics & numerical data*