The Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science announced on May 27 that its research team led by professor Kim Ki-woong at the Biomedical Signal Center developed a device capable of visualizing brain connectivity.
At present, functional MRIs (fMRIs) are used as a method for determining brain connectivity, but with some structural weaknesses. The research team, however, developed the new device by means of brainwave magnetic resonance, which is totally different from fMRI, and proved it with a phantom brain phantom of brain nerve current source.
Brainwave magnetic resonance can be defined as the oscillating magnetic field generated by brainwaves directly resonating the protons in the brain. By this method, the part where the brainwaves in a specific frequency domain in charge of brain functions oscillate are directly visualized. Therefore, brain function connectivity, that is, the state of brainwave-based connections and communications between parts of the brain, can be examined in a direct way.
In particular, this type has the advantage that the measurement of the connectivity is available even in a low magnetic field. The strength of the magnetic field used in this method is approximately one-millionth of that of an fMRI.
“The anatomical functions of the brain have been studied a lot with CT, MRI, MEG, and the like, but the research into brain function connectivity, which is the next step, is still at its early stage,” the professor explained, adding, “Once imaging equipment is developed to directly show the connectivity, it can be the key to solving the mystery of the brain and lead to higher competitiveness in the global medical equipment market.”
The result of the research is available in the May edition of Neuroimage, a renowned brain science journal.