When we consider all of the methods we employ to detect brain function, from electrophysiology to optical techniques to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we do not really have a ‘golden technique’ that meets all of the needs for studying the brain. We have methods, each of which has significant limitations but provide often complimentary information. Clearly, there are many questions that need to be answered about fMRI, which unlike other methods, allows us to study the human brain. However, there are also extraordinary accomplishments or demonstration of the feasibility of reaching new and previously unexpected scales of function in the human brain. This article reviews some of the work we have pursued, often with extensive collaborations with other co-workers, towards understanding the underlying mechanisms of the methodology, defining its limitations, and developing solutions to advance it. No doubt, our knowledge of human brain function has vastly expanded since the introduction of fMRI. However, methods and instrumentation in this dynamic field have evolved to a state that discoveries about the human brain based on fMRI principles, together with information garnered at a much finer spatial and temporal scale through other methods, are poised to significantly accelerate in the next decade.
This article is part of the themed issue ‘Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience’.
One contribution of 15 to a Theo Murphy meeting issue ‘Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience’.
- Accepted July 11, 2016.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.