Summary of Research Project Results under JSPS FY2001
"Research for the Future Program"

1.Research Institution The University of Tokyo
2.Research Area Life Sciences
3.Research Field Higher Brain Functions
4.Term of Project FY 1997 〜 FY 2001
5.Project Number 97L00204
6.Title of Project Neuroimaging Contributions to the Understanding of Brain Language Mechanism

7.Project Leader
Name Institution,Department Title of Position
Morihiro Sugishita The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Medicine Professor

8.Core Members

Names Institution,Department Title of Position
Shoji Naruse Kyoto Prefectural College of Medicine, Faclt Med Associate Professor
Hiroki Yoshikawa The University of Tokyo, Institute of Medical Science Associate Professor

9.Summary of Research Results

1.Verbal Tasks devised for fMRI and PET: (1) Using, we found that the brain regions critical to the process of writing are the anterior part of the left superior parietal lobule, the posterior part of the middle and superior frontal gyri, and the right cerebellum. (2) We hypothesized that early training in memorizing Chinese characters and the use of these characters in daily life shapes brain development and facilitates recall of visual forms in general. We examined what parts of the brain are commonly activated during learning characters and memorizing figures.
2. Determination of language dominant hemisphere: (1) Differences in brain activity in word reading in relation to visual field of presentation were found. Left hemisphere word presentations activated areas restricted to the left hemisphere, whereas right hemisphere presentations activated both hemispheres. (2) We devised fMRI paradigm with shiritori task useful to determine the language dominant hemisphere.
3. Improvement of the accuracy of fMRI, and its application to the evaluation of brain function: (1) We could established the integrated method to obtain a fine and reliable fMRI by resolving various problems as follows; (a) optimization of measurement parameters, (b) compensation of error data due to head movement, (c) establishment of routine method for data analysis of fMRI. (2) As for the application of this integrated method, it is possible to differenciate signal changes in visual system between mental and addition arithmetics.
4. Development of new methods for examining brain function: The new methods were as follows; (a) cerebral perfusion imaging using water molecule as a non-invasive tracer; (b) direct imaging of nerve cell excitation by detecting of Ca2+ channel opening after injecting Mn2+; (c) three dimensional imaging of nerve fiber direction by obtaining diffusion tensor imaging; (d) measurement of brain metabolism by magnetic resonance spectroscopy methods.

10.Key Words

(1)Experimental Psychology、(2)Cognitive Science、(3)Neuroscience
(4)Brain and Nerve、(5)Brain and Neurological Disorders