Functional magnetic resonance imaging of brain activity in the visual oddball task

Babak A. Ardekani, Steven J. Choi, Gholam Ali Hossein-Zadeh, Bernice Porjesz, Jody L. Tanabe, Kelvin O. Lim, Robert Bilder, Joseph A. Helpern, Henri Begleiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Abnormalities in the P300 ERP, elicited by the oddball task and measured using EEG, have been found in a number of central nervous system disorders including schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, and alcohol dependence. While electrophysiological studies provide high temporal resolution, localizing the P300 deficit has been particularly difficult because the measurements are collected from the scalp. Knowing which brain regions are involved in this process would elucidate the behavioral correlates of P300. The aim of this study was to determine the brain regions involved in a visual oddball task using fMRI. In this study, functional and high-resolution anatomical MR images were collected from seven normal volunteers. The data were analyzed using a randomization-based statistical method that accounts for multiple comparisons, requires no assumptions about the noise structure of the data, and does not require spatial or temporal smoothing. Activations were detected (P<0.01) bilaterally in the supramarginal gyrus (SMG; BA 40), superior parietal lobule (BA 7), the posterior cingulate gyrus, thalamus, inferior occipitotemporal cortex (BA 19/37), insula, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (BA 9), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), medial frontal gyrus (BA 6), premotor area, and cuneus (BA 17). Our results are consistent with previous studies that have observed activation in ACC and SMG. Activation of thalamus, insula, and the occipitotemporal cortex has been reported less consistently. The present study lends further support to the involvement of these structures in visual target detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-356
Number of pages10
JournalCognitive Brain Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the grant number NIAAA12560 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.


  • ERP
  • FMRI
  • Human brain mapping
  • P300
  • Visual oddball task


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