Neuroscience

How the brain paints the beauty of a landscape

How does a view of nature gain its gloss of beauty? We know that the sight of beautiful landscapes engages the brain's reward systems. But how does the brain transform visual signals into esthetic ones? Why do we perceive ...

Neuroscience

What does a virtual roller coaster ride tell us about migraine?

When experiencing the ups and downs of a virtual roller coaster ride, people who get migraine headaches reported more dizziness and motion sickness than people who do not get migraines, according to a new study published ...

Neuroscience

What does the sleeping brain think about?

We sleep, on average, one third of our time. But what does the brain do during these long hours? Using an artificial intelligence approach capable of decoding brain activity during sleep, scientists at the University of Geneva ...

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Magnetic resonance imaging

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), or nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI), is primarily a medical imaging technique most commonly used in radiology to visualize the internal structure and function of the body. MRI provides much greater contrast between the different soft tissues of the body than computed tomography (CT) does, making it especially useful in neurological (brain), musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and oncological (cancer) imaging. Unlike CT, it uses no ionizing radiation, but uses a powerful magnetic field to align the nuclear magnetization of (usually) hydrogen atoms in water in the body. Radio frequency (RF) fields are used to systematically alter the alignment of this magnetization, causing the hydrogen nuclei to produce a rotating magnetic field detectable by the scanner. This signal can be manipulated by additional magnetic fields to build up enough information to construct an image of the body.:36

Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a relatively new technology. The first MR image was published in 1973 and the first cross-sectional image of a living mouse was published in January 1974. The first studies performed on humans were published in 1977. By comparison, the first human X-ray image was taken in 1895.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging was developed from knowledge gained in the study of nuclear magnetic resonance. In its early years the technique was referred to as nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI). However, as the word nuclear was associated in the public mind with ionizing radiation exposure it is generally now referred to simply as MRI. Scientists still use the term NMRI when discussing non-medical devices operating on the same principles. The term Magnetic Resonance Tomography (MRT) is also sometimes used.

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