Neuroimaging, in its most basic definition, refers to a set of techniques used to create pictures of the structure and functionality of the brain. Functional neuroimaging refers to visualizing functional processes in the brain that derive from the electrochemical activity of the brain’s neurons, synaptic transmission, and the metabolism that supports these processes.
Neurons can control the localized flow of blood by molecular signaling mediated by the neurotransmitter glutamate via the surrounding astrocytes. When blood enters the brain, it doesn’t course indiscriminately through the organ’s vessels; instead it is selectively channeled to specific regions in a need-based fashion. As a result perfusion to cortical regions and even areas as small as a single cortical column adjusts moment to moment to meet the constantly changing metabolic demands of the neurons.
Areas of the brain become more active during a task, requiring more energy, which is provided by an almost instantaneous change in local perfusion to provide the necessary glucose. Functional neuroimaging techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and SPECT, take advantage of this intimate association between neuronal activity, metabolic activity, and local perfusion.
the international Society of Applied Neuroimaging
As President of ISAN, it has been my pleasure and honor to spearhead our research and education efforts since the fledgling launch of this Society. This Society brings together a diverse international group of clinicians and scientists who share a common vision – that neuroimaging has real-world, clinical application today, not in some ephemeral future.LEARN MORE
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