Please provide a brief description of how functional imaging studies are conducted.
Functional imaging studies refer to functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) studies. fMRI is a specific imaging technique that relies on human tissues' tendency to "collect" and use more oxygen when they are in use. Your muscles do so when they are stimulated to contract, as do your blood vessels, but more importantly, fMRI allows us to visualize this phenomenon in the brain. As a result, when someone uses a specific area of their brain, fMRI allows us to visualize those areas "light-up" as they use more oxygen.
This is an incredibly useful tool as it allows us to glimpse a completely intact central nervous system and observe its functions without disturbing it, as the fMRI is completely non-invasive. There are some limitations however: ultimately the spatial resolution, or our ability to pinpoint exactly what areas are activated, is still relatively low, although we often achieve 1cmx1cmx1cm accuracy.
Now, to the details of how such studies are conducted. Normally, a researcher has a basis for believing that certain areas of the brain are more used during certain tasks / at certain times, and wishes to use fMRI to prove it. For example, a big area of ...
How functional imaging studies are conducted is determined.