Magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) and computer tomography (CT) are modern imaging procedures used in medicine. They produce cross-section images of our tissue and organs. In MRT, the body is engulfed by a powerful magnetic field. Each type of tissue reacts differently to the magnetic stimulus. These differences make possible detailed, high-resolution images.

A special form of MRT is functional MRT (fMRT) that delivers images of the brain’s functions and activities. An active region of the brain requires more oxygen, which increases the blood supply to it. The fresh blood has different magnetic qualities than deoxygenated blood. fMRT measures the magnetic characteristics of the blood on the basis of its oxygen content. To do so, the brain is scanned once when it’s active and again when it’s at rest. Then the measurements are compared. The signal changes per individual measurement are very minimal. Accordingly, this procedure requires a large number of repetitions, divided into individual measurements and pauses. The computer then evaluates these images pixel by pixel and graphically depicts significant differences in signal intensity, whereby the positions of the active brain regions can be precisely transferred to the anatomical image of the brain provided by MRT.

Supported by SIEMENS Austria. In cooperation with Linz General Hospital. Scientific consultant: Prim. Univ.-Prof. (Univ. Erlangen) Dr. Franz A. Fellner
This cooperative undertaking is also the basis for a new R&D project at the nexus of art and science, one that will make it possible for artists to work with fMRT.