New findings could lead to higher resolution functional MRIs

New findings by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, could significantly improve the resolution of scans from functional magnetic resonance imaging, one of neuroscience’s most powerful research tools to date. Functional MRI (fMRI) is a non-invasive procedure that detects increased levels of blood flow into certain areas of the brain to infer neural activity. But in a study published Feb. 14 in the journal Science, researchers from UC Berkeley’s Group in Vision Science show that an initial decrease in oxygen levels is an earlier and more spatially precise signal of nerve cell activity.