Overview of Neuroimagery Essay

1695 Words7 Pages
Neuroimagery is a clinical speciality that produces images of the brain by using non-invasive techniques, i.e.: without requiring surgery, incision of the skin, or any direct contact with the inside of the body. This type of imagery falls into two categories: Structural; this deals with the structure of the brain and aids the diagnosis of diseases (e.g. brain tumours) and Functional; this is used for neurological and cognitive research purposes, along with the diagnosis of metabolic diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s). Neuroimagery enables us to directly visualize the processing of information by the centres of the brain. This processing causes the involved area of the brain to increase metabolism and as a result highlight itself…show more content…
The fMRI scan has played a major role in this type of research and it is on such that this essay will be based.
Functional magnetic resonance imagery (fMRI) uses MRI technology to measure brain activity by detecting relevant changes in blood flow. The process can also give us information on the structure and function of the brain, unlike other processes which can only provide us with one of these two. fMRI scanning relies on cerebral blood flow (CBF – blood supply to the brain at a given time) and neuronal activation are coupled – meaning that when an area of the brain is in use, the blood flow in that region increases. fMRI scans take pictures of the brain every few seconds over a period of several minutes to help researchers determine results of a scan. While fMRI scans cannot detect absolute activity of brain regions, it can detect differences between different conditions. Therefore, a patient will be asked to perform tasks or will be stimulated to trigger processes or emotions during their scan.
The primary form of an fMRI scan uses Blood-Oxygen-Level dependent (BOLD) contrast. This was discovered by Seiji Ogawa in the 1990’s. This, according to Ogawa, is a very simple theory. He claimed that Neurons do not have internal reserves of energy in the form of glucose and oxygen, so their release causes a need for more energy to be brought in quickly. Blood then releases oxygen to them (this process is known as the

More about Overview of Neuroimagery Essay

Get Access