Summary

MRI provides exquisite images of the soft tissue structure of the brain at millimeter resolution from any viewing angle. It does this by detecting an intrinsic magnetic signal that is produced by the protons within tissue water when the body is placed in the appropriate magnetic environment. Nowhere are the uses of MRI

more significant than in brain imaging. MRI is far superior to all other noninvasive brain imaging procedures because it images signal generated directly by the brain tissue and this signal is readily detected despite the presence of the bony cranium. The technology is sufficiently robust to routinely produce images at millimeter resolution with good tissue contrast. The signal detection process uses no form of ionizing radiation and is relatively innocuous. These properties permit subjects to be examined repeatedly. These attributes of MRI point to utility that extends well beyond the diagnosis and evaluation of disease. In recent years, neuroscientists have realized that MRI is a significant research tool that may be used for anatomic imaging in human and animal subjects.

See Also the Following Articles

ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHY (EEG) • FUNCTIONAL MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (fMRI) • IMAGING: BRAIN MAPPING METHODS

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