Friday, June 4, 2010

Brain Imaging

Brian imaging refers to a number of techniques that result in images that show which areas of the brain are active. Of of these techniques, positron emission tomography (PET) it was introduced in 1976. The PET procedure a person is injected with a low does of radioactive tracer that is not harmful. The tracer enters the bloodstream and indicates the volume of blood flow. With PET scans researchers were enabled to track changes in blood flow to determine which brain areas were being activated. To use this tool, researchers developed the subtraction technique, in whcih brain activity is measured in two conditions: (1) an initial condition, before the stimulus of interest is presented and (2) a test condition in which the stimulus of interest is presented.


  1. I think that it is amazing how far our technoloy has come in being able to see which parts of a brain are active and which parts are not. It is very good that we are able to do so because we are now able to know more details about the brain. The more we know about the brain, the more we will be able to help people and understand exactly how the human body works.

  2. Any technology that allows us to see parts of the brain and further our research neurologically is very fascinating in every aspect. However, some do have their potential risks. PET can help with imaging of the brain, but I am not sure I would like to be injected with any radioactive tracers. There is always a slight chance of damage to cells or tissue from radiation.