Magnetoencephalography: From SQUIDs to neuroscience: Neuroimage 20th Anniversary Special Edition

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Magnetoencephalography (MEG), with its direct view to the cortex through the magnetically transparent skull, has developed from its conception in physics laboratories to a powerful tool of basic and clinical neuroscience. MEG provides millisecond time resolution and allows real-time tracking of brain activation sequences during sensory processing, motor planning and action, cognition, language perception and production, social interaction, and various brain disorders. Current-day neuromagnetometers house hundreds of SQUIDs, superconducting quantum interference devices, to pick up signals generated by concerted action of cortical neurons. Complementary MEG measures of neuronal involvement include evoked responses, modulation of cortical rhythms, properties of the on-going neural activity, and interareal connectivity. Future MEG breakthroughs in understanding brain dynamics are expected through advanced signal analysis and combined use of MEG with hemodynamic imaging (fMRI). Methodological development progresses most efficiently when linked with insightful neuroscientific questions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-396
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review


  • Cortex
  • History
  • Human
  • MEG
  • Timing


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