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DIAGRAM: fMRI leads to more accurate brain surgery

October 30, 2012 | 6:33 p.m. CDT
University Hospital has begun using an fMRI machine to scan patient’s brains. This latest version of MRI technology scans for activity in the brain based on oxygen levels, instead of just the brain itself. The advancement is particularly useful because the specific areas that are activated for certain functions, such as seeing or hearing, are unique to every individual.

The diagram below depicts a fMRI scan of a brain with a tumor. The red areas indicate active areas of the brain for vision. Because of the new techonology, surgeons would be able to take out the majority of the tumor without damaging any of the actively used part of the brain. This would keep the person’s vision as intact as possible.

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