Aalto Brain Centre (ABC) organised yesterday a panel discussion to answer frequently asked questions about magnetoencephalography (MEG), a brain research method that is based on detecting the minute magnetic fields that brain activity generates. The panel was livestreamed, and the stream is now available online, and embedded below.
MEG as a method is strongly rooted in Aalto University, and its predecessor Helsinki University of Technology, as researchers here have had a major role in both developing the equipment and analysis methods, and in conducting ground-breaking neuroscientific research using MEG, building the knowledge base of the electrophysiology of the brain.
Possibly the biggest advantage of MEG over other brain imaging and measurement devices is its time resolution: it tracks the activity of the brain at a millisecond resolution, or in other words, taking a “reading” 1000 times each second. As professor Hari says in the beginning of the video, the next step in neuroscience is neurodynamics, or studying how the timing of brain activity works. This is a logical next step after localising which parts of the brain are involved in the various cognitive tasks, and studying how these parts are organised in networks (brain connectivity).
However, usually different tools (EEG, MEG, TMS and fMRI) are used together, as they measure different signals and have different strengths and weaknesses. However, if you are interested in MEG and are keen to learn more about it, this panel discussion is a good start. It covers questions ranging from general ones (what are the strengths of MEG, where do you see it going in 10 years) to more detailed data analysis questions (how to deal with head movement and other artefacts). Also check the event website where we will post answers to questions that couldn’t be answered in the 2 hour panel. You can also find discussion on the topic in Twitter, with hashtag #ABCofMEG.