Positron Emission Tomography Pet Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Fmri And Optical Imaging

The second broad class of neuroimaging methods is based on the measurement of metabolic and vascular changes that are associated with neural activity; these measures include oxygen and glucose consumption, cerebral blood flow, and cerebral blood oxygenation. The brain requires a continuous supply of glucose via the blood to meet its metabolic requirements; this is because only a little glucose is stored by the brain itself. Neural activity at a particular brain location leads to localized metabolic changes (such as those in glucose and oxygen consumption) and to vascular changes

(such as those in regional cerebral blood flow, rCBF). These metabolic and vascular changes are referred to as "secondary changes,'' the challenge is to infer the nature of neural activity on the basis of such changes. This task is not trivial in part because multiple aspects of neural activity are reflected by single quantities; for instance, both synaptic inhibition and excitation produce similar increases in rCBF.

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