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Medical MRI testing for Electrical Brain pulses?

  1. Dec 23, 2007 #1
    Hello, I dont know a lot on this subject, but at a last nights weekly philosophical discussion a friend mentioned that they could use MRI machines to scan and see electrical impulses light up parts of the mind during electrical impulse testing to the brain. I guess like showing images to people and seeing what area of the brain lights up with electrical stimulation.

    I didnt think this was true, and after reading today how they work, it still seems incorrect.

    Does someone know for certain if they can be used for this type of testing?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 23, 2007 #2
    From what I have seen they use like EEG testing for stuff like this, the MRI can be used for placement of probes into the head but not for actually taking electrical impulse information with the MRI machine.
  4. Dec 23, 2007 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    This is called functional MRI and relys on the Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) effect. It measures hemodynamic activity, not electrical activity. The idea is that when neurons fire they use energy, when they use energy the oxygenation level of the blood changes, and this change can be detected with MRI.
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