About this Research Topic
The ultimate goal of functional brain imaging is to provide optimal estimates of the neural signals flowing through the long-range and local pathways mediating behavioral performance and conscious experience during the spectrum of activities controlled by the nervous system. In functional MRI, despite its impressive spatial resolution, this goal has been somewhat undermined by the fact that the fMRI signal is essentially a blood-oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal that only indirectly reflects the nearby neural activity. The vast majority of fMRI studies restrict themselves to describing the details of these BOLD signals and to non-quantitative inferences of their implications for the underlying neural activity. This Frontiers Research Topic initiative welcomes empirical and theoretical contributions that focus on the explicit relationship of the BOLD signal to the causative neural activity, including questions such as:
How is the BOLD signal coupled to the underlying neural population response?
Is the neural/BOLD relationship linear or nonlinear?
What is the mechanism of coupling between the neural glutamate metabolism and the BOLD oxygen metabolism?
Do any new forms of magnetic activation show promise for the direct recording of neural signals?
How can the differential responses of neural subpopulations be distinguished?
As a recordable index of neural interaction, are the effects of attentional modulation additive or multiplicative?
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.