Research NewsNeurobiology

New Imaging Methods Provide a Better View Into the Brain

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Science  27 Jun 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5321, pp. 1974-1976
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5321.1974

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Breathtaking as progress has already been in the field of brain imaging, improvements currently under way will soon give researchers new perspectives on how the brain goes about its business. Modifications of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) will permit more sophisticated experimental designs that link brain images more closely to a subject's perceptions and behavior, while increased magnet strengths will give even greater spatial resolution of activated brain areas. Moreover, by combining fMRI with other techniques, researchers can answer previously unaddressable questions about the timing with which brain areas are activated. Other new techniques are not as far advanced, but may someday image neural activity directly, rather than by following increases in blood flow as current methods do.

  • * “Neuroimaging of Human Brain Function,” The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academy of Sciences, Irvine, California, 29-31 May.