Magnetic resonance imaging in the evaluation of cognitive function


  • Erin D. Bigler PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
    2. Neuroscience Center, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
    3. Department of Psychiatry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
    4. The Brain Institute of Utah, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
    • Correspondence to: Erin D. Bigler, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Center, 1001 SWKT, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602.


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Image quality of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the brain currently approximate gross anatomy as would be viewed at autopsy. During the first decade of the 21st Century incredible advances in image processing and quantification have occurred permitting more refined methods for studying brain-behavior-cognitive functioning. The current presentation overviews the current status of MRI methods for routine clinical assessment of brain pathology, how these techniques identify neuropathology and how pathological findings are quantified. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), functional MRI (fMRI), and resting state fMRI are all reviewed, emphasizing how these techniques permit an examination of brain function and connectivity. General regional relationships of brain function associated with cognitive control will be highlighted. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2014; 61:1724–1728. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.