Functional magnetic resonance imaging


Functional magnetic resonance imaging


  • - Unlike a PET scan it doesn't rely on radiation so it's virtually risk-free, non-invasive and straightforward to use.
  • - Has high spatial resolution and depicts detail by the milimetre and provides a clear picture of how brain activity is localised.


  • - It is expensive and can only capture a clear image if the perso stays perfectly still.
  • - Ithas poor temporal resoltuin because there is a 5-secong time lag from the brain activity to the image. It also can't so the activity of individual neurons.


A strength of functional magnetic resonance imaging is that it is straightforward and has very little risks. Unlike other scans such as a PET scan fMRI doesn't rely on the use of raditaion which reduces the risks that are associated with it and makes it non-invasive. It also has a high spatial resolution as it shows detail by the millimetre so it provides a clear picture of how brain activity is localised.A limitation of fMRI is that it is very expensive to conduct in comparison to other brain investigation techniques meaning that not many people will have the money to get this scan. Another limitation is that it has poor temporal resolution as there is a 5-second time lag from the brain activity to the image, it is also difficult to capture a clear image as the patient has to remain perfectly still for it to work.


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