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Neuroscience Research Techniques

Neuroscience Research Techniques

Neuroscience research techniques are used to develop a clear understanding of information that is in the brain and involved with cognitive processing. They also help us to find different ways to prevent and treat problems that affect the brain, body, and nervous system. In addition, if these techniques were not available, we would be unable to study and develop information about the brain. Some of the techniques used to measure the brain are positron emission tomography (PET Scan), Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and Magnetoencephalography (MEG).

Positron Emission Tomography (PET Scan) is used to “measure blood flow in the brain by injecting the participant with a low dose of a radioactive chemical just before this person works on a cognitive task” (Farmer & Matlin, 2019. Pg. 13). One of the strengths of this technique is it allows one to view the activity in the brain while participating in a specific task. It identifies which part of the brain is activated while one is working on a task. A limitation of this technique is that it does not provide a level of activity; it gives an average reading which is not accurate. This technique is also not used as often as others due to the high cost as well as the chemicals that are being exposed. Researchers use this technique to identify abnormalities in the brain that could be linked to attention, memory, and language.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a technique that uses a scanning device to capture images of the oxygen atoms located in the brain while a patient participates in a task. This technique is also faster and more precise than others when viewing the details of the brain. Also, it does not use injections or radioactive material. A limitation of this technique is that it does not provide details regarding time. “It is unable to provide information about when or how quickly certain processes occur” (Farmer & Matlin, 2019. Pg. 13). Researchers often use this technique because it allows one to evaluate how a disease can affect the brain.

The Magnetoencephalography (MEG) technique “records magnetic field fluctuations produced by neural activity during the processing of stimuli presented to participants” (Farmer & Matlin, 2019. Pg. 15). The individual that has several sensitive sensors that are placed on their scalp to measure activity. “A benefit of this technique is that it due to the magnetic signals allowing more reliable inferences about the neural sources of observed effect in MEG”. (Farmer & Matlin, 2019. Pg. 15). A limitation of this technique is that spatial localization information is not as accurate as the information provided in PET and MRI techniques. Also, the MEG facilities have limited availability because of the high cost of maintenance. Researchers often use these MEG examinations to help identify and locate the source of a patient’s seizures.

I chose the research article “Real-time FMRI neurofeedback as a new treatment for psychiatric disorders: A meta-analysis.” Neurofeedback using real-time functional MRI was a designed technique that allows targeting a brain response and its associated behavior. Real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging neurofeedback has gained popularity as an experimental treatment for a variety of psychiatric illnesses. The strengths of this article were the systematic review and the meta-analysis that showed that many studies found significant clinical improvements after NF training also significantly in mood disorders. The information was high quality because of its relevance, accuracy, and credibility.

The limitation found in the article was the effect sizes, and which were obtained from small sample sizes. Also, even though the analysis was restricted to studies that evaluated clinical outcomes, there was a wide range of symptoms due to the vast range of clinical scales used in the identified studies. Lastly, because of the small number of studies in the meta-analysis, the ability to detect publication bias is limited. Despite the high quality of this study, it does not assess the impact of the technique on every clinical symptom, which is important in the treatment of psychiatric disorders.

The technique found in this article could be used in combination with pharmaceutical treatments or psychotherapy. In many studies, RT-FMRI-NF has been integrated in the healthcare path of patients or patients who experience psychiatric conditions. RT-FMRI has been found in Parkinson’s disease and stroke and has been demonstrated to alter neural activity after the self-regulation training is complete and helps to modify specific behaviors. In the future, RT- FMRI-NF to induce neuroplasticity in the brain networks that are involved with certain neurological conditions.


Farmer, T.A., Matlin, M. W. (2019). Cognition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN: 9781119491712

Medaglia, J. D., Lynall, M.-E., & Bassett, D. S. (2015). Cognitive network neuroscience. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27(8), 1471–1491. https://doi-

Pindi, P., Houenou, J., Piguet, C., & Favre, P. (2022). Real-time fMRI neurofeedback as a new treatment for psychiatric disorders: A meta-analysis. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 119, 1–21. https://doi-


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To fully comprehend methods for studying cognition and cognitive neuroscience, you will be analyzing neuroscience research techniques in this assignment.

In 750-1,000 words, complete the following:

Select three neuroscience research techniques and describe the strengths and limitations of each.

Neuroscience Research Techniques

Neuroscience Research Techniques

Then choose a scholarly research article using one of the neuroscience research techniques to critique.

Expand upon the strengths and limitations of the article you selected.

Provide other applications of this technique.

Support your reasoning with three to four scholarly references.

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