Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

A functional neuroimaging procedure using MRI technology that measures brain activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow. This technique relies on the fact that cerebral blood flow and neuronal activation are coupled. When an area of the brain is in use, blood flow to that region also increases.[citation needed] The primary form of fMRI uses the blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) contrast, discovered by Seiji Ogawa. This is a type of specialized brain and body scan used to map neural activity in the brain or spinal cord of humans or other animals by imaging the change in blood flow (hemodynamic response) related to energy use by brain cells. Since the early 1990s, fMRI has come to dominate brain mapping research because it does not require people to undergo shots, surgery, or to ingest substances, or be exposed to ionising radiation, etc.
of motor cortex: hemispheric asymmetry and handedness

Science - 1993-07-01Kim SG, Ashe J, Hendrich K, Ellermann JM, Merkle H, Ugurbil K, Georgopoulos AP10.1126/science.8342027
A hemispheric asymmetry in the functional activation of the human motor cortex during contralateral (C) and ipsilateral (I) finger movements, especially in right-handed subjects, was documented with nuclear magnetic resonance imaging at high field strength (4 tesla). Whereas the right motor cortex was activated mostly during contralateral finger movements in both right-handed (C/I mean area of activation = 36.8) and left-handed (C/I = 29.9) subjects, the left motor cortex was activated substantially during ipsilateral movements in left-handed subjects (C/I = 5.4) and even more so in right-handed subjects (C/I = 1.3).