WHAT IS CARBON MONOXIDE: Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and deadly gas. It reduces the flow of oxygen in the bloodstream and can cause brain damage. It is emitted by cars and contributes to pollution.
ANOTHER NON-INVASIVE TECHNIQUE: Another way to look at blood flow--using the body's natural magnetic properties. A technique called magnetic resonance imaging uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to take clear and detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues. Its newest improvement, fMRI, uses this technology in real time to identify regions of the brain where blood vessels are expanding, chemical changes are taking place, or extra oxygen is being delivered. These are indications that a particular part of the brain is processing information and giving commands to the body. As a patient performs a particular task, the metabolism will increase in the brain area responsible for that task, changing the signal in the MRI image. So by performing specific tasks that correspond to different functions, scientists can locate the part of the brain that governs that function.