Calibrated MRI techniques use the changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF) and blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal evoked by a respiratory manipulation to extrapolate the total BOLD signal attributable to deoxyhemoglobin at rest (M). This parameter can then be used to estimate changes in the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen consumption (CMRO2) based on task-induced BOLD and CBF signals. Different approaches have been described previously, including addition of inspired CO2 (hypercapnia) or supplemental O2 (hyperoxia). We present here a generalized BOLD signal model that reduces under appropriate conditions to previous models derived for hypercapnia or hyperoxia alone, and is suitable for use during hybrid breathing manipulations including simultaneous hypercapnia and hyperoxia. This new approach yields robust and accurate M maps, in turn allowing more reliable estimation of CMRO2 changes evoked during a visual task. The generalized model is valid for arbitrary flow changes during hyperoxia, thus benefiting from the larger total oxygenation changes produced by increased blood O2 content from hyperoxia combined with increases in flow from hypercapnia. This in turn reduces the degree of extrapolation required to estimate M. The new procedure yielded M estimates that were generally higher (7.6 ± 2.6) than those obtained through hypercapnia (5.6 ± 1.8) or hyperoxia alone (4.5 ± 1.5) in visual areas. These M values and their spatial distribution represent a more accurate and robust depiction of the underlying distribution of tissue deoxyhemoglobin at rest, resulting in more accurate estimates of evoked CMRO2 changes. Hum Brain Mapp, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.