A short history of causal modeling of fMRI data

Neuroimage. 2012 Aug 15;62(2):856-63. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.01.034. Epub 2012 Jan 10.


Twenty years ago, the discovery of the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) contrast and invention of functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) not only allowed for enhanced analyses of regional brain activity, but also laid the foundation for novel approaches to studying effective connectivity, which is essential for mechanistically interpretable accounts of neuronal systems. Dynamic causal modeling (DCM) and Granger causality (G-causality) modeling have since become the most frequently used techniques for inferring effective connectivity from fMRI data. In this paper, we provide a short historical overview of these approaches, describing milestones of their development from our subjective perspectives.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain Mapping / history*
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / history*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Models, Theoretical*