Summary

Experimental design in fMRI-based experiments is challenging but rewarding. Practical limitations related to the safety and behavior of human subjects, technical limitations in MRI devices, underlying properties of the spatial arrangement of blood vessels, and the temporal characteristics of the coupling between neuronal activity and blood flow are all intertwined. In addition to these technical considerations there is the art of experimental design associated with any question in understanding human psychology. The application of the technology of fMRI to neuroscience entails a collection of trade-offs. Nonetheless, the current strengths of fMRI-based investigations include the best spatial and temporal resolutions for noninvasive, volumetric brain mapping, the most flexible experimental designs, and a constantly improving set of instrument-based limits to the technology's sensitivity and resolution.

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