fMRI: The Perfect Imperfect Instrument

Courtesy of Chloe Hutton, Functional Imaging Lab  THICK OR THIN? The cerebral cortex thickness metric can be used to study the progression of diseases such as Alzheimer disease, epilepsy, mental retardation, and schizophrenia, and to investigate how brain function is affected in the abnormal regions. According to legend, functional neuroimaging can trace its roots to the stroke of noon on a day in the late 19th century, when Italian physiologist Angelo Mosso observed a sudden increase in

Leslie Pray
Nov 2, 2003
Courtesy of Chloe Hutton, Functional Imaging Lab
 THICK OR THIN? The cerebral cortex thickness metric can be used to study the progression of diseases such as Alzheimer disease, epilepsy, mental retardation, and schizophrenia, and to investigate how brain function is affected in the abnormal regions.

According to legend, functional neuroimaging can trace its roots to the stroke of noon on a day in the late 19th century, when Italian physiologist Angelo Mosso observed a sudden increase in brain pulsation in his test subject, Bertino the peasant. Using an elaborate contraption, Mosso had been measuring the pulsations coming from a soft spot in Bertino's skull, the result of a head injury. Intrigued by the sudden pulsing, Mosso asked Bertino if the chiming of the local church bell had reminded him of his forgotten midday prayers. When Bertino said yes, his brain pulsated again. Then Mosso asked Bertino to multiply 8 by...