Edinburgh Imaging


07 Dec 18. 20 years of fMR imaging

Edinburgh Imaging looks back at its very first fMR imaging experiment as it approaches its 20th fMR imaging anniversary.

20 years fMRI article - SPM
The first experiment
  • The experiment on 8th December 1998 was part of the work-up for a recently awarded SHEFC grant (Willshaw, Goddard, Marshall, £540k, 1998-2002).
  • The grant, entitled 'Centre for Interactive Image Analysis,' was a collaboration between Informatics & Medical Physics / DCN to establish fMR imaging in Edinburgh.
  • The grant funded the fMR imaging equipment, two PostDocs & 200 hours of pilot scanning.
  • Work was initially carried out on the Elscint scanner (for which the EPI 'BOLD' images had to be reconstructed offline from raw data!) before it was replaced by the GE scanner in January 2000.
  • Early projects included studies in:
  • The experiment was 30 seconds of finger opposition of the left hand alternating with 30s of the right hand, with 30s resting periods in between. This pattern was then repeated for a total scan time of 6 minutes. We scanned 10 slices of 5mm thickness.

In 1998, diffusion MR was quite basic with just 6 encoding directions & non-isotropic voxels, which allowed only simple water diffusion maps, such as fractional anisotropy & mean diffusivity, to be created. Nevertheless we used DTI to investigate stroke & brain tumour pathology; the results from these studies were some of the first papers to be published on the Elscint & GE scanners.


Early fMR studies


 - Written by PI’s from the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences