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The Brain – Its Structural and Functional Imaging


With the advancement of Science and Technology, several new methods of detecting diseases has been discovered; one of which is Imaging. This process, with the help of biological studies and machines, is used to detect any internal problem that is otherwise hidden from the naked eyes.

Electricity, Radiation and Magnetic resources are used to make this process possible. A particular machine that uses only the magnetic and radiation sources, in order to do this imaging is called the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). Another similar machine made by making a few alterations in the MRI is called the fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging).

The major point of difference between MRI and fMRI is - while the former is used for structural imaging, the latter is used for functional imaging. In simple words, MRI scans for any anatomical problems that may not have been identified by CT scan. On the other hand, the fMRI measures the brain’s oxygen and blood flow level, to get an idea of how the brain is functioning and how much oxygen is being consumed by the tissues.

MRI is a little more ancient than fMRI. The fMRI looks for diseases by understanding where in the brain there is an excess flow of blood, i.e. a region termed as Blood Oxygen Level Dependence (BOLD). Being a more modernised concept this has been incorporated in several fields of work, including business. A Neuromarketing consultancy, Neurosense, has adopted this machine as a part of their various tests, to understand the real biases, feelings and emotions of a consumer. Bradley G. Harris, a Neurosense coach, trains people to understand the way these machines work.

Another criterion where the two machines differ is the measurement of signals. As mentioned earlier, the fMRI measures the oxygen level, contrasting it, the MRI measures the hydrogen nuclei in the water molecule. The difference in tissues types are accounted for, keeping in mind their structural aspect – their spacing, in MRI; while in fMRI, the difference between the tissues are measured with respect to time.

Bradley G. Harris, coaches his trainees, by explaining to them how this novice treatment of fMRI, is helpful in the marketing process, along with the other online tests that Neurosense makes available for its clients. The coaches at this company are also highly educated in their genre of study, who suggests ways and methods to their clients, which produce sky reaching successes.

While MRI has carved a niche for itself in the diagnostics of the medical world, fMRI is yet to achieve that position, despite it being extremely efficient. Although the fMRI is more expensive; because of its additional hardware and software, as compared to MRI; the fMRI has a resolution that is superior, long-distance and temporal in nature in contrast to the MRI, whose resolution is more high and spatial.

The two machines however, cannot be rated over one another, as both are used for totally different functions – one for anatomical findings another for metabolical findings.

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