Jack Belliveau, Explorer of the Brain Using M.R.I., Dies at 55

September 21, 2018

Anticipating the upcoming #NobelPrize announcements, here’s someone who probably should have won the prize for discovering fMRI had he not
died so young https://www.NYTimes.com/2014/03/10/science/jack-belliveau-explorer-of-the-brain-dies-at-55.html Jack Belliveau, Explorer of the Brain Using MRI, Dies at 55


“Dr. Belliveau was a 30-year-old graduate student at the Martinos Center when he hatched a scheme to “see” the neural trace of brain activity. …

Dr. Belliveau tried a different approach. He had developed a technique to track blood flow, called dynamic susceptibility contrast, using an M.R.I. scanner that took split-second images, faster than was usual at the time. This would become a standard technique for assessing blood perfusion in stroke patients and others, but Dr. Belliveau thought he would try it to spy on a normal brain in the act of thinking or perceiving.

“He went out to RadioShack and bought a strobe light, like you’d see in a disco,” said Dr. Bruce Rosen, director of the Martinos Center and one of Dr. Belliveau’s advisers at the time. “He thought the strobe would help image the visual areas of the brain, where there was a lot of interest.”