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What is fMRI?

Take a journey around the brain with Ossie from Oxford Sparks. Find out more and read about the science behind the animation at

Stuart Clare


Associate Professor and Director of Operations, WIN

The last twenty years have seen a huge leap forward in our understanding of how the human brain works, and forefront in the technologies that have enabled this is the technique of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). My research program involves pushing the technological boundaries of the MRI technique to reveal new insights about how the brain functions normally, and how it is affected by disease.

In 2011 the FMRIB Centre installed a state-of-the-art MRI scanner operating at a magnetic field strength of 7 Tesla.  This is over 5 times stronger than a standard clinical system and enables the structure and function of the brain to be studied in far higher detail than has previously been possible.

As well as facilitating clinical and neuroscience research on the Centre's MRI scanners, and leading the Centre's core team, I have a research interest in improving the quality of MRI images using a technique called 'dynamic shimming'.

I am heavily involved in communicating the research we do to the general public (for example, see the animation on the left) and have been working with schools to inspire the next generation of scientists.