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The dependency of positive BOLD (PBOLD) and post-stimulus undershoot (PSU) on the temporal frequency of visual stimulation was investigated using stimulation frequencies between 1 and 44 Hz. The PBOLD peak at 8 Hz in primary visual cortex was in line with previous neuroimaging studies. In addition to the 8 Hz peak, secondary peaks were observed for stimulation frequencies at 16 and 24 Hz. These additional local peaks were contrary to earlier fMRI studies which reported either a decrease or a plateau for frequencies above 8 Hz but in line with electrophysiological results obtained in animal local field potential (LFP) measurements and human steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) recordings. Our results also indicate that the dependency of PSU amplitude on stimulus frequency deviates from that of PBOLD. Although their amplitudes were correlated within the 1-13 Hz range, they changed independently at stimulation frequencies between 13 and 44 Hz. The different dependency profiles of PBOLD and PSU to stimulation frequency points to different underlying neurovascular mechanisms responsible for the generation of these BOLD transients with regard to their relation to inhibitory and excitatory neuronal activity.

Original publication




Journal article


Neurosci Lett

Publication Date





185 - 188


Adult, Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation, Evoked Potentials, Visual, Flicker Fusion, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Oxygen, Photic Stimulation, Visual Cortex