Introduction to Psychology
September 26, 2011
The history of neuroimaging begins with the intense urge to understand the mind and its function has been a main force in bringing psychologists, computer scientists, philosophers, sociologists and the like together into the new discipline of cognitive science. The urge has led to one of the most extensive form of capturing the brain and its image called neuroimaging. Neuroimaging is the medical process of directly or indirectly capturing the images of the brain and its functions. In the earlier stages of developing neuroimaging a technique called pneumoenecephalography was used. Pneumoencephalography involved the drainage of cerebrospinal fluid from the surroundings of the brain and replacing it with air. This action caused alterations in the relative density of the brain and allowed its image to show up clearer on x-rays. The process of pneumoencephalography however was proven to be toxic and dangerous for patients. Upon the discovery of the dangerous outcome of pneumoencephalography, scientist sought to find other ways to image the brain. In the later part of the 1900s, computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were developed and thought to be a safer solution. Scientist also discovered other mechanisms such as: single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) scans, unlike MRI and CT, these scans are capable of creating more than static images of the structure of the brain but also allows the mapping of the brain functions. All of these different mechanisms are all summoned into one entity neuroimaging. Although neuroimaging is a relatively new discipline within the fields of medicine and psychology/ neuroscience, it has been a phenomenal asset to the world of medicine.
There are two different categories of neuroimaging; structural imaging and functional. Structural imaging deals with the anatomy of the brain and the diagnosis...