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Functional magnetic resonance imaging

A researcher monitors a patient undergoing an MRI scan

In its conventional form, exploiting blood oxygenation level dependence, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is used for basic and clinical neuroscience research in the Centre to map a wide range of brain functions.

These range from higher cognitive processes to the brain’s control of the body’s basic physiological processes.

We're also developing and applying quantitative fMRI methods to measure brain blood flow and cerebrovascular function in health and disease, an important part of this being to understand better neurovascular coupling, the process by which sufficient nutrients are delivered to brain tissue.

Our imaging programme aims to develop clinically useful markers of brain function and is, for example, refining and applying methods for the measurement of the brain’s rate of oxygen consumption.

Complementing this and the electrophysiological imaging techniques at the Centre is our programme of magnetic resonance spectroscopy research with a focus on neurotransmitter quantification. Our capabilities in functional imaging and spectroscopy have been enhanced substantially by our 7T MRI.