This is a brief introduction to various diagnostic imaging technologies used in brain research. These technologies have provided answers about the structure and function of the brain and enabled scientists to ask new questions.
Access the following resources and read about how each described technology works, the information it provides, and its advantages and disadvantages. Record notes on the Brain Imaging Technology student sheet.
First, go to the Brain Imaging website and read the information listed in the Procedure and Method columns.
Now go to The Basics of Brain Imaging and read about other technologies. Then read the article, The Next Generation of Brain Scans for more information about brain imaging technology.
You will now conduct more in-depth research on the specific technology assigned by your teacher, using the following websites and any other reference materials your teacher approves. As you read, ask yourself how the technology helps scientists learn about the brain and how what they learn might help them develop even better technologies.
- For PET, MRI, and fMRI, go to the blue box at the bottom of the Brain Imaging page.
- For MEG and EEG, go to The Next Generation of Brain Scans website.
Present your research to the class. As your classmates present their research, be sure to add new information to the chart you started earlier.
Working in groups as assigned by your teacher, describe a new brain imaging technology that you imagine could be developed some time in the future. Your description may take any—or a combination—of the following forms:
- a newspaper article
- a diagram
- a model
While designing your “Brain Machine for Tomorrow,” use your chart, the article, The Next Generation of Brain Scans, and your imagination. Think about the strengths and weaknesses of current technologies and what scientists still need to learn about the brain. Your machine can combine elements of current machines or be something totally new. Remember that your machine should help answer existing questions and ask new ones about how the brain works.
This esheet is a part of the Watch Your Thoughts! Diagnostic Imaging and the Brain lesson.