At the Brain Research Unit we aim to address human brain functions at systems level, mainly by applying noninvasive brain imaging methods that we continuously develop and sharpen. We also design and construct stimulation and monitoring devices to create as-natural-as-possible environments for experimentation on systems neuroscience.
Within this framework, we have continued to study functions of the human cerebral cortex by measuring weak magnetic fields outside the head. This magnetoencephalographic (MEG) method allows a totally non-invasive view into healthy and diseased human brains during different tasks and conditions. Our 306-channel neuromagnetometer (Vectorview, Neuromag Ltd), functional since 1998, houses 204 gradiometers and 102 magnetometers with a whole-scalp coverage. To combine functional and structural information, we typically integrate MEG data with the subject's magnetic resonance images (MRIs).
In 2004, we have continued to work extensively on MEG characterization of human sensory, motor, cognitive and language functions, both in healthy and diseased brains. In addition, we have considerably expanded our efforts to also use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at the Advanced Magnetic Imaging (AMI) Centre of HUT; fMRI with its excellent spatial resolution complements the superb temporal resolution of MEG in tracking activation patterns and sequences in the human brain. The AMI Centre operates a 3 Tesla MRI/fMRI superconducting magnet (General Electric 3T Signa) for whole-body imaging, and we continued to be the largest single user group of the Centre in 2004.