When Is simultaneous recording necessary? A guide for researchers considering combined EEG-fMRI

Catriona L. Scrivener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) provide non-invasive measures of brain activity at varying spatial and temporal scales, offering different views on brain function for both clinical and experimental applications. Simultaneous recording of these measures attempts to maximize the respective strengths of each method, while compensating for their weaknesses. However, combined recording is not necessary to address all research questions of interest, and experiments may have greater statistical power to detect effects by maximizing the signal-to-noise ratio in separate recording sessions. While several existing papers discuss the reasons for or against combined recording, this article aims to synthesize these arguments into a flow chart of questions that researchers can consider when deciding whether to record EEG and fMRI separately or simultaneously. Given the potential advantages of simultaneous EEG-fMRI, the aim is to provide an initial overview of the most important concepts and to direct readers to relevant literature that will aid them in this decision.
Original languageEnglish
Article number636424
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2021


  • simultaneous EEG and fMRI
  • multimodal neuroimaging
  • EEG-informed fMRI
  • fMRI-informed EEG
  • combined recording


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