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Medicine United Kingdom Science

British Scientists Develop Wearable MRI Scanner (wcax.com) 29

British scientists have invented a new type of brain scanner that patients can wear on their head allowing them to move while being tested. "Neuroscientists will be able to envisage a whole new world of experiments where we try to work out what a brain is doing but whilst a person is behaving naturally," said Matt Brookes, a physicist at the University of Nottinham. CBS reports: The device, which looks like a prop from a budget sci-fi movie or phantom of the opera, is in fact the latest thing in brain scanning. "I think in terms of mapping brain activity, brain function, this represents a step change," said Brookes. Because you can do this while wearing it -- play bat and ball, or even drink a cup of tea. It was at Nottingham University in the early 70s that the MRI was first developed. Now the wearable 'MEG' system has the potential to open a whole new field of brain scanning. The scanner records the magnetic field produced by brain activity and can show precisely where in the brain these movements are being controlled. The area of the brain shown in blue is where wrist and arm movements are controlled while playing bat and ball.
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British Scientists Develop Wearable MRI Scanner

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  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Saturday March 24, 2018 @06:03AM (#56318173)

    cool!

    • cool!

      Well, supposedly this device is only for "scanning", but of course, every bug spray smoking conspiracy theorist absolutely knows that the military is working on hard hacks to turn the device into a mind controller!

      Sneak up behind someone, and yell:

      "Brain tag! You're it!"

      . . . and then plop the device on their head.

      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        Re "every bug spray smoking conspiracy theorist absolutely knows that the military is working on hard hacks to turn the device into a mind controller!"

        Why just be limited to selling the UK mil a mind controller?
        Why not sell the UK military on the ability to read the mind as well?
        A Russian detector.
        The UK security services can go full Five Techniques on a person and see what the computer of truth shows.
        The Hooded Men go digital.
  • Not an MRI (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 24, 2018 @06:33AM (#56318243)

    This is not an MRI. This is something called MEG, and it just records magnetic field around brain. It has nothing to do with magnetic resonace.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Came here to say this. This is an encephalograph, not a MRI.

    • Not new either... El Santo invented this WAY back in the 1930s.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santo [wikipedia.org]

    • I was thinking that if this really were an MRI strapped onto someone's head, they better not test it while playing horseshoes or using any other ferromagnetic sports equipment.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        There are MRI setups that use the Earth's magnetic field for the background DC field and then need much smaller gradient and excitation coils. The resolution is usually a lot worse at weaker field though, unless some other major trade-off is made.

        That said, this is MEG, not MRI. But MEG can be really sensitive to outside interference. I remember tests being cancelled due to thunderstorms 50 km away, despite the equipment and test subject being in a mu metal + copper Faraday cage vault. Metal jewelry and too

  • by Anonymous Coward

    An MRI is completely and totally unrelated to an MEG. They are related in the same way that washing machines and flagpoles are related.

  • The technology may be neat, but the title is flat-out wrong. As someone who uses MRI images and works around MRI scanners, this article is about a very different technology (MEG) with very different trade-offs and uses.

    MEG, or magnetoencephalography, picks up on very weak magnetic fields produced by the electrical activity of the brain. MEG's primary advantage over EEG, or electroencephalography (where you use electrodes to measure the electrical potential directly) is that the magnetic fields tend to pene

  • fMRI not MRI. fMRI "research" is a total scam.
    • What? I designed the cochlear implant electronics used to do functional MRI on electrodes broadcasting sound signals into only one human ear. They're the only experments properly measuring sound for only *one* ear, since MRI scanners are *really loud* with a *PING* *PING* *PING* as the MRI fires, and that comes in both ears. But if the person is stone deaf except for a cochlear implant, of the old "Ineraid" style with the jack that sticks out of the head that can be safely put in an MRI, you can get really

  • All non-residents will be required to wear these at all times, you know, think of the children, just to be safe...

  • MRI or MEG??? (Score:5, Informative)

    by sackvillian ( 1476885 ) on Saturday March 24, 2018 @08:44AM (#56318423)
    It is not an MRI. It's magnetoencephalography [wikipedia.org], which is very very different than Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It's much more analogous to an EEG (electroencephalography), and a more portable version is is impressive but not nearly as impressive as shrinking the liquid helium-cooled magnets needed for MRI would be.
    • I can't tell if the error belongs to CBS News, to the local CBS affiliate in Vermont, or to the PR flack at the university. The article body itself doesn't mention MRI, except to note that Nottingham University "invented" MRI in the early 1970s. I conclude that whoever added the headline failed.

      However, the University and CBS News also failed (or failed twice if either of them were the origin of the headline), because both of them had a responsibility to effectively communicate, which they did not do.

      NMR

  • ...or it gets the hose again.
  • Personally, based on the summary text, I'd wait for version 2.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?

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