Functional MRI (fMRI) offers the opportunity to measure human brain activity in a non-invasive manner, while participants are engaged in various tasks. To date, it provides one of the most effective ways to localize and assess the brain's activation patterns in response to a large range of tasks, and has provided invaluable insights into human brain function in the sensory, emotional, and cognitive domains.
fMRI measures brain activity by detecting changes in cerebral blood flow. When neurons activate in the brain, oxygenated blood levels in that region are increased and detected by the scanner. This allows us to localize brain structures that are involved in different cognitive tasks both on the local and network levels, and to associate various brain activity patterns to psychological processes, personality traits, and neural pathologies among other things. Our imaging lab focuses on the neural underpinnings of diverse cognitive processes, and primarily on attention, perception, memory, and emotions.