Psych - Brain imaging techniques

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sus2000
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:55 pm

Psych - Brain imaging techniques

Post by sus2000 » Thu May 09, 2019 8:03 pm

Hi, can someone go over when each type of imaging is used? I studied what they are but I got a question about which one would be used for local imaging and I just want to understand which type of imaging would be used and when and for what purpose? My test is this week if someone can answer soon! Thank you

MRI
PET
EEG
CT

Thanks!
Shree
NS_Tutor_Will
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Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 9:15 am

Re: Psych - Brain imaging techniques

Post by NS_Tutor_Will » Fri May 10, 2019 8:27 am

Thanks for the question!

Here's a post going over and discussing some of the major ones: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2135&p=5225&hilit= ... a94e#p5225

I hope this helps and good luck!
sus2000
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:55 pm

Re: Psych - Brain imaging techniques

Post by sus2000 » Fri May 10, 2019 1:15 pm

Thanks, Will.

I am still getting these types of questions wrong though. I guess what I am not getting is how do I differentiate between when I need to choose PET versus fMRI since both show local brain activity?

Thanks much - Shree

[Moderator edit: Part of your message was removed. Please do not reproduce entire AAMC questions here. Discussion of AAMC material is good and encouraged, but reproducing materials is NOT.]
NS_Tutor_Will
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Re: Psych - Brain imaging techniques

Post by NS_Tutor_Will » Sun May 12, 2019 10:31 am

It will come down to what specifically the researchers want to measure (or how the passage says they will measure activity). If they're looking at metabolism or metabolic rates, we'd want PET. fMRI measures the flow of blood to different places, so it shows us where more oxygen or nutrients are needed, and so shows us where more activity is going on. Both tell us the same macro-level information, it's just the micro "how" they accomplish this task that's different. Depending on the question, we'd answer differently.

In the question you've posted, unless they mentioned something specifically about radio-labeled molecules being injected (or implied you were looking directly at metabolic reactions), fMRI is a good fit. But you won't typically see fMRI and PET in the same question unless they make it clear in the passage that one is preferable to the other.
sarita0518
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Re: Psych - Brain imaging techniques

Post by sarita0518 » Sun May 12, 2019 11:40 am

Can you describe how we should know when to pick CT or MRI. THey both seem similar to me.
NS_Tutor_Will
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Re: Psych - Brain imaging techniques

Post by NS_Tutor_Will » Mon May 13, 2019 7:55 am

I highly doubt you would be asked to distinguish between them, since they are so similar, but the mechanism of how they work is the biggest difference. CT scans use x-rays while MRI uses magnets to visualize structures. MRI provides more detail, too, so if they're looking for a highly detailed structural image, an MRI would be the better bet. Again, though, I doubt you'd have to distinguish, but it's good to be prepared!
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