Research News

Neuroscience: What Makes Brain Neurons Run?

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Science  11 Apr 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5310, pp. 196-198
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5310.196

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Imaging methods that highlight areas of brain activity in vivid hues have revolutionized neurobiology, helping researchers map the brain regions involved in functions ranging from sensation and movement to language. Surprisingly, however, neuroscientists are still debating about just how brain metabolism creates the signals used to produce the images of activated brain areas. The main issue concerns how much oxygen active neurons use, and it is far from academic, because the answer could influence how researchers interpret their images, and also how stroke patients and others with damaged blood flow to the brain are treated.