Technological Limitations of Research Tools and Options
As I indicated in HTB (2015), research can examine different physical activity as technology advances. Neurobiological research before 2000 emphasized use of EEG technology to collect data, but fMRI technology from which the hemo-neural hypothesis grew helps us understand that various systems in the brain are at work in facilitating cognitive processes as well. However, MRI technologies are still loud, which can affect any aural dynamics associated with multimodal analysis, perception, and even cognition. Until MRI equipment can reduce the noise level to minimally impact sensory attributes that contribute to perception and cognition, it is challenging to account for the noise in an analysis of the impact multimodal materials have on cognition.
While fMRI is able to identify a variety of patterns of neural activity, it may be difficult to account for and address in research the noise and any claustrophobic effects of using it for this research. A more viable approach may be Magnetoencephalography (or MEG) which combines attributes of EEG and fMRI.
MRI machines are very loud and require immersion of the entire head and neck into them. Immersion would limit the ability for one to view any multimodal product, and the noise associated with the machine would practically render any audio associated with a multimodal product ineffective. MEG enables one to view multimodal products without being immersed completely. However, MEG also is not as fast as fMRI and it measures different regions of the brain. So, data between the two tools may not agree with each other (Cohen and Halgren, 2004).
As with any research tool, there are limitations associated with technologies available to measure neural activity. However, research must negotiate with these tools toward facilitating the best research possible.