ological measurement of event-related potentials (Donchin et al., 1977; Picton et al., in press).

Centers for Monkey Brain Imaging Research

At the present time, the most pressing need is for centers that include capability for fMRI research on monkeys. Because such research is best carried out in a custom-designed, vertical bore magnet, progress in all research fields that can benefit from real-time imaging of the aging brain depends on the availability of this expensive equipment. The cost of the equipment provides the rationale for establishing research centers, possibly in collaboration with other institutes at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Centers would presumably be established in places where there is existing expertise in cognitive neuroscience and in the techniques needed for research with awake, behaving monkeys. Optimally, the monkey facilities would be sited in close approximation to human fMRI facilities, so as to permit the sharing of core personnel and computer software.

The NIA, working with other institutes at NIH, should establish a monkey brain imaging facility with FMRI capability at NIH and support a few similar centers elsewhere.

Adequate Access to MRI Physicists

The rapidly increasing amount of MRI research underlines the shortage of qualified MRI physicists to work on research teams studying cognition in aging. Although this problem is broader in scope than the research concerns of the NIA, it is likely to slow research progress unless appropriate action is taken. The NIA should work with other federal agencies on ways to address the problem.


We have specifically recommended that the NIA collaborate with other institutes to establish research centers, including one at NIH, where monkey brain imaging procedures, specifically including fMRI, can be carried out in a custom-designed, vertical bore magnet. We believe that this is a single example of a more general point.

The NIA should seek additional opportunities to participate with other institutes such as the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, and the National Eye

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement