Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or fMRI, is a new form of brain imaging. It builds on the earlier MRI technique which primarily is used for anatomical analysis. The fMRI detects increased blood flow to areas of the brain, since activation of neurons requires an increase in metabolism and nutritional requirements it is theorized that this increase in blood flow correlates with what areas of the brain are most active.

There has been some interest in the use of fMRI to replace Polygraph machines, if it can be determined which parts of the brain light up when a subject is lying.


  • Kandel, ER; Schwartz JH, Jessell TM (2000). Principles of Neural Science, 4th ed., New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-8385-7701-6.