What is it?

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a dynamic
new way to locate brain functions. Specifically, it shows which
areas of the brain are active when a person thinks, speaks, moves,
feels, or remembers. It allows us to see the brain in action. When
we speak to each other or listen to someone speak to us, certain areas of our brains become more active. These areas are critical to us because they control our speech, our language and our memory, as well as our sensations and movements. Brain areas are not always active, but as the level of activity changes, the focus of its location changes with each differing cognitive activity.

It is important to be able to locate precisely various areas for each patient, because everyone's functional distribution within eloquent cortex is quite different. Brain organization is like a person's fingerprints: similiar in organization, but very different in the details. These individual differences are important, and fMRI allows us to identify, locate, respect and preserve these vital functions. fMRI produces functional maps which augment anatomical maps.

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