For the first time, a faster functional MRI (fMRI) technique was able to track brain activity during human thought. By significantly increasing the speed of fMRI, NIBIB-funded researchers were able to image rapidly fluctuating brain activity during human thought. fMRI measures changes in blood oxygenation, which were previously thought to be too slow to detect the subtle neuronal activity associated with higher order brain functions. The new discovery that fast fMRI can detect rapid brain oscillations is a significant step towards realizing a central goal of neuroscience research: mapping the brain networks responsible for human cognitive functions such as perception, attention, and awareness.
See the article: Fast fMRI can detect oscillatory neural activity in humans. Lewis LD, Setsompop K, Rosen BR, Polimeni JR. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Oct 25. http://www.pnas.org/content/113/43/E6679