Three-Year Reliability of MEG Visual and Somatosensory Responses

Marie C. Mccusker, Brandon J. Lew, Tony W. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A major goal of many translational neuroimaging studies is the identification of biomarkers of disease. However, a prerequisite for any such biomarker is robust reliability, which for magnetoencephalography (MEG) and many other imaging modalities has not been established. In this study, we examined the reliability of visual (Experiment 1) and somatosensory gating (Experiment 2) responses in 19 healthy adults who repeated these experiments for three visits spaced 18 months apart. Visual oscillatory and somatosensory oscillatory and evoked responses were imaged, and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were computed to examine the long-term reliability of these responses. In Experiment 1, ICCs showed good reliability for visual theta and alpha responses in occipital cortices, but poor reliability for gamma responses. In Experiment 2, the time series of somatosensory gamma and evoked responses in the contralateral somatosensory cortex showed good reliability. Finally, analyses of spontaneous baseline activity indicated excellent reliability for occipital alpha, moderate reliability for occipital theta, and poor reliability for visual/somatosensory gamma activity. Overall, MEG responses to visual and somatosensory stimuli show a high degree of reliability across 3 years and therefore may be stable indicators of sensory processing long term and thereby of potential interest as biomarkers of disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2534-2548
Number of pages15
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2021


  • ICC
  • magnetoencephalography
  • oscillations
  • stability
  • test-retest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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