Overt verbal responding during fMRI scanning: Empirical investigations of problems and potential solutions

Deanna M. Barch, Fred W. Sabb, Cameron S. Carter, Todd S. Braver, Douglas C. Noll, Jonathan D. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Scopus citations


This paper presents a pair of studies designed to empirically explore the severity of potential artifacts associated with overt verbal responding during fMRI scanning and to examine several different solutions to these artifacts. In Study One, we compared susceptibility artifacts, signal-to- noise ratios, and activation patterns when overt versus covert verbal responses were elicited during fMRI scanning, using both individual and group analyses. The results indicated that different patterns of brain activation were elicited during covert as compared to overt verbal responses. This suggests that covert responses cannot be used as a simple substitute for overt verbal responses. Further, the results suggested that the use of overt verbal responses during fMRI scanning can produce interpretable results if: (1) the primary comparison is between two conditions that both use overt verbal responses, and (2) analyses are conducted on pooled group data rather than individual participant data. In Study Two, we evaluated the feasibility and validity of a method for acquiring participants' overt responses during fMRI scanning. The results indicated that our method was very accurate in acquiring the content of participant's responses. Further, inspection of the responses demonstrated that participants do not always comply with task instructions and highlighted the importance of obtaining behavioral performance measures during fMRI scanning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)642-657
Number of pages16
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Overt verbal responding during fMRI scanning: Empirical investigations of problems and potential solutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this