Harvard unveils new technique 60 times faster than traditional fMRI

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 17:00 in Psychology & Sociology

The speed of the human brain is remarkable. Almost immediately upon being exposed to stimuli, neurons are activated, prompting subconscious reactions and, a fraction of a second later, thought. But the speed at which we can noninvasively follow brain function using an MRI is not as impressive. Functional MRI (fMRI), which measures changes in blood-oxygen levels, has revolutionized neuroscience by revealing functional aspects of the brain, but the vascular changes fMRI measures can take up to six seconds in humans — a veritable eon in brain time. In a paper published in Science Advances, investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in collaboration with colleagues at King’s College London, the French human-health research organization Inserm, and elsewhere, have discovered a fundamentally new way to measure neuronal function using a technology that can pick up changes in the brain as much as 60 times faster. The team presents data from preclinical studies indicating...

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