fMRI adaptation revisited

Jonas Larsson, Samuel Solomon, Adam Kohn

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Adaptation has been widely used in functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) studies to infer neuronal response properties in human cortex. fMRI adaptation has been criticised because of the complex relationship between fMRI adaptation effects and the multiple neuronal effects that could underlie them. Many of the longstanding concerns about fMRI adaptation have received empirical support from neurophysiological studies over the last decade. We review these studies here, and also consider neuroimaging studies that have investigated how fMRI adaptation effects are influenced by high-level perceptual processes. The results of these studies further emphasize the need to interpret fMRI adaptation results with caution, but they also provide helpful guidance for more accurate interpretation and better experimental design. In addition, we argue that rather than being used as a proxy for measurements of neuronal stimulus selectivity, fMRI adaptation may be most useful for studying population-level adaptation effects across cortical processing hierarchies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154–160
Number of pages7
Early online date17 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016

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