A method for direct thalamic stimulation in fMRI studies using a glass-coated carbon fiber electrode

Bai-Chuang Shyu* (Corresponding Author), Chun-Yu Lin, Jyh-Jang Sun, Sergiy Sylantyev, Chen Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Recent fMRI studies are of interest in exploring long-range interactions between different brain structures and the functional activation of specific brain regions by known neuroanatomical pathways. One of the experimental approaches requires the invasive implantation of an intracranial electrode to excite specific brain structures. In the present report, we describe a procedure for the production of a glass-coated carbon fiber electrode and the use of this electrode for direct activation of the brain in fMRI studies. The glass-coated carbon fiber microelectrode was implanted in the medial thalamus of anaesthetized rats and T2*-weighted gradient echo images in the sagittal plane obtained on a 4.7 T system (Biospec BMT 47/40) during electrical stimulation of the medial thalamus. The image quality obtained using this electrode was acceptable without reduction of the signal-to-noise ratio and image distortion. Cross-correlation analysis showed that the signal intensities of activated areas in the ipsilateral anterior cingulate cortex were significantly increased by about 4–5% during medial thalamus stimulation. The present study shows that glass-coated carbon fiber electrodes are suitable for fMRI studies and can be used to investigate functional thalamocingulate activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-131
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2004

Bibliographical note

We thank Mr. Tsung-Hung Hung for assistance with the art work and Dr. Thomas Barkas for English revision. This study was supported by grants from the National Science Council and the Academia Sinica, Taiwan, ROC.


  • carbon fiber electrode
  • medial thalamus
  • anterior cingulate cortex
  • electrical stimulation
  • MR compatibility


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