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How does a functional magnetic resonance imaging scan work?

The technology for a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan is based on the same kind that is used for an MRI. Both are noninvasive tests that use a strong magnetic field and radio waves to achieve detailed images of the body.

However, instead of looking at organs and tissues, like MRIs, the fMRI looks at how the blood is flowing in the brain, to pinpoint areas of activity.

By examining these changes in blood flow, doctors can get a better idea of how the brain works.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.