Could Molecular fMRI Revolutionise Neuroscience?

In a new paper called Molecular fMRI, MIT researchers Benjamin B. Bartelle, Ali Barandov, and Alan Jasanoff discuss technological advances that could provide neuroscientists with new tools for mapping the brain. Currently, one of the leading methods of measuring brain activity is functional MRI (fMRI). However, as Bartelle et al. note, it has its limitations: Because brain activity mapping with fMRI depends on neurovascular coupling, resolution at the level of single cells is out of reach… More importantly, the cellular origins of functional imaging signals are obscured by the fact that many different cells and cell types contribute simultaneously to the observed fMRI data. Recent work, however, holds out the hope that a future “molecular fMRI” could be developed to extend the power of fMRI. They say that molecular fMRI…


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