Neuromagnetometer (sp?) and Picture Naming

Kevin Spencer kspencer at
Tue May 23 14:01:50 EST 1995

clark at (Jim Clark) writes:


>     I caught part of a 1993 science documentary that described some research
>in Finland (I believe) that was using a brain imagining device based on
>low-temperature super-conducting principles.  The device had Neuromag printed
>on the front and I believe they referred to it as a Neuromagnetometer (sp?). 
>They were imaging as a person named pictures and described successive stages of
>processing, which were apparently at a higher temporal resolution than possible
>with MRI (at the time, anyway, and perhaps still today?).

The device is used to record the magnetoencephalogram (MEG), the magnetic
counterpart of the EEG.  I believe the Finland system is the only (or the
first) to provide coverage of the whole head.

>Can anyone provide a person's name or ideally even a reference to the
>work?  My impression was that the device was a by-product of physics work to
>achieve a minimal possible temperature (a few billionths of a degree above
>absolute zero?).

This MEG facility has been used by Risto Naatanen's lab -- he is at the
forefront of research in auditory attention.  So, a search of his articles
should come up with something.

As for the physics, the MEG is recorded with "superconducting quantum
interference devices", or SQUIDs.


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