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Electrophysiological recordings in animals have indicated that visual cortex γ-band oscillatory activity is predominantly observed in superficial cortical layers, whereas α- and β-band activity is stronger in deep layers. These rhythms, as well as the different cortical layers, have also been closely related to feedforward and feedback streams of information. Recently, it has become possible to measure laminar activity in humans with high-resolution functional MRI (fMRI). In this study, we investigated whether these different frequency bands show a differential relation with the laminar-resolved blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal by combining data from simultaneously recorded EEG and fMRI from the early visual cortex. Our visual attention paradigm allowed us to investigate how variations in strength over trials and variations in the attention effect over subjects relate to each other in both modalities. We demonstrate that γ-band EEG power correlates positively with the superficial layers' BOLD signal and that β-power is negatively correlated to deep layer BOLD and α-power to both deep and superficial layer BOLD. These results provide a neurophysiological basis for human laminar fMRI and link human EEG and high-resolution fMRI to systems-level neuroscience in animals.

Original publication




Journal article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date





6761 - 6766


EEG, cortical layers, high-resolution fMRI, oscillations, Adolescent, Adult, Alpha Rhythm, Beta Rhythm, Female, Gamma Rhythm, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Oxygen, Visual Cortex