News of the WeekNeuroscience

fMRI Provides New View of Monkey Brains

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Science  20 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5393, pp. 1397
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5393.1397

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LOS ANGELES-- Until now, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which delivers pictures of brain activity by measuring increases in local blood flow, has not been well suited to monkey studies. This is mainly because in the past researchers could not get it to work on the anesthetized monkeys used for many other kinds of neurophysiological studies, but also because researchers had to use horizontal magnets designed for supine human patients, and these are not well-suited to monkeys. But aided by a specially designed magnet, a researcher has made high-resolution fMR images of the brains of both anesthetized and awake monkeys. Those who saw his presentation here last week at the 28th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience say the work is a marked advance over the only other published fMR images of monkey brains, reported last summer by two teams (Science, 10 July, p. 149).