You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

Brain Imaging

1. State of the Art

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In the first mini-lecture, we learn about the state of the art of brain imaging. We learn about two main measurements we can make about the brain: (i) the hemodynamic response, which analyses the changes in blood flow around the brain; and (ii) the electromagnetic fluctuations across the brain representing nervous impulses. We then introduce the terms functional integration and segregation, principles of brain function which can be observed by these methods. To finish off, we present the theories of hierarchical structure within the brain.


In this course, Professor Karl Friston (University College London) discusses brain imaging. Brain imaging is a field that revolutionised neuroscience, since it is extremely powerful at detecting various functionalities of the brain, and especially when those functionalities go wrong. We begin by: (i) introducing the state of the art of brain imaging, understanding the different measurements we can make that correlate to brain activity; followed by (ii) looking at how we can use brain imaging to diagnose disease and psychiatric conditions; and then (iii) looking at how there are limitations to the current tools we have at our disposal for brain imaging; before finally (iv) looking at the influence that brain imaging has had on other fields in the physical sciences and philosophy.


Karl Friston is a theoretical neuroscientist and authority on brain imaging. He invented statistical parametric mapping (SPM), voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and dynamic causal modelling (DCM). These contributions were motivated by schizophrenia research and theoretical studies of value-learning, formulated as the dysconnection hypothesis of schizophrenia. Mathematical contributions include variational Laplacian procedures and generalized filtering for hierarchical Bayesian model inversion. Friston currently works on models of functional integration in the human brain and the principles that underlie neuronal interactions. His main contribution to theoretical neurobiology is a free-energy principle for action and perception (active inference). Friston received the first Young Investigators Award in Human Brain Mapping (1996) and was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (1999). In 2000 he was President of the international Organization of Human Brain Mapping. In 2003 he was awarded the Minerva Golden Brain Award and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2006. In 2008 he received a Medal, College de France and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of York in 2011. He became of Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology in 2012, received the Weldon Memorial prize and Medal in 2013 for contributions to mathematical biology and was elected as a member of EMBO (excellence in the life sciences) in 2014 and the Academia Europaea in (2015). He was the 2016 recipient of the Charles Branch Award for unparalleled breakthroughs in Brain Research and the Glass Brain Award - a lifetime achievement award in the field of human brain mapping. He holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of Zurich and Radboud University.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Friston, K. (2022, August 30). Brain Imaging - State of the Art [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Friston, K. "Brain Imaging – State of the Art." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 30 Aug 2022,

Get instant access to over 6,200 lectures