MRI-based localization of electrophysiological recording sites within the cerebral cortex at single-voxel accuracy

Nat Methods. 2007 Feb;4(2):161-8. doi: 10.1038/nmeth987. Epub 2006 Dec 17.


The localization of microelectrode recording sites in the layers of primate cerebral cortex permits the analysis of relationships between recorded neuronal activities and underlying anatomical connections. We present a magnetic resonance imaging method for precise in vivo localization of cortical recording sites. In this method, the susceptibility-induced effect thickens the appearance of the microelectrode and enhances the detectability of the microelectrode tip, which usually occupies less than a few percent of the volume of an image voxel. In a phantom study, the optimized susceptibility-induced effect allowed tip detection with single-voxel accuracy (in-plane resolution, 50 mum). We applied this method to recording microelectrodes inserted into the brains of macaque monkeys, and localized the microelectrode tip at an in-plane resolution of 150 mum within the cortex of 2-3 mm in thickness. Subsequent histological analyses validated the single-voxel accuracy of the in vivo tip localization. This method opens up a way to investigate information flow during cognitive processes in the brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Electrophysiology / methods*
  • Macaca
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Microelectrodes
  • Phantoms, Imaging