Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

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  • A technique that uses a magnetic field to create a computerized image of internal bodily structures. It is used in psychological research to measure brain structure, by exposing the brain to a magnetic field and measuring the resulting radio frequency waves to produce clear pictures of the brain. Its advantage over positron emission tomography (PET) scans is that it requires no exposure to radioactivity and produces a higher spatial resolution of anatomical details. A newer MRI technique, called functional MRI (fMRI), can detect changes in blood flow that reflect changes in neuron activity. By observing activity in an individual's brain while the individual performs certain tasks, researchers can link the individual's behavior with activity in specific brain structures. Thus, fMRI not only maps the brain ...

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