It is now possible to record the EEG continuously during fMRI studies. This is a very promising methodology that combines knowledge about neuronal activity and its metabolic response. The EEG recorded inside the fMRI scanner is, however, heavily contaminated by artifacts caused by the high intensity magnetic field and rapidly changing field gradients. Methods have been reported in the literature to reduce or eliminate these artifacts, in particular the ballistocardiogram and the artifact caused by currents induced by rapidly changing magnetic gradients. Nevertheless, recording the EEG simultaneously with fMRI remains an extremely delicate operation. In addition the use of artifact removal methods has only been reported by the laboratories in which they were developed. We report here the practical procedures we developed to reduce artifacts in a series of 10 epileptic patients, in the context of the visualization of epileptic spikes. We illustrate the effectiveness of methods designed to remove the scanning artifact and present new methods for removing the ballistocardiographic artifact. We present and evaluate techniques to obtain an EEG of good quality when performing simultaneous EEG and fMRI studies.
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