Nature Reviews Neuroscience 9, 720-729 (September 2008) | doi:10.1038/nrn2414

OpinionApplications of real-time fMRI

R. Christopher deCharms1  About the author


For centuries people have aspired to understand and control the functions of the mind and brain. It has now become possible to image the functioning of the human brain in real time using functional MRI (fMRI), and thereby to access both sides of the mind–brain interface — subjective experience (that is, one's mind) and objective observations (that is, external, quantitative measurements of one's brain activity) — simultaneously. Developments in neuroimaging are now being translated into many new potential practical applications, including the reading of brain states, brain–computer interfaces, communicating with locked-in patients, lie detection, and learning control over brain activation to modulate cognition or even treat disease.

Author affiliations

  1. R. Christopher deCharms is at the Omneuron 3T MRI Research Center, 99 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, California 94025, USA.


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