A mainstay of many neuroscience labs, functional MRI relies on blood flow changes in the brain to serve as proxies for active nerve cells. But a new study on mice finds that neurons can be busy with no hint of blood-flow changes.Many researchers assume that fMRI signals reflect neural activity, says study coauthor Patrick Drew, a neuroscientist at Penn State, “that when neural activity goes up, you should see increases in blood flow.” But recently, that cozy relationship has come under increasing scrutiny.The results emphasize the need for caution when interpreting brain-scan results.
About the Author: Dr Ramesh Manocha
Dr Ramesh Manocha MBBS BSc (med) PhD is a GP, educator and researcher. His PhD was completed at the Royal Hospital for Women and focused on the scientific evaluation of meditation and the mental silence experience. Ramesh is currently a senior lecturer at the Department of Psychiatry at Sydney University and is also the founder and convenor of Generation Next, a national circuit of professional development seminars for education, health and welfare professionals.