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In the paper MRI measurements are used for assessment of brain tissue perfusion and other features and functions of the brain (cerebral blood flow - CBF, cerebral blood volume - CBV, mean transit time - MTT). Perfusion is an important indicator of tissue viability and functioning as in pathological tissue blood flow, vascular and tissue structure are altered with respect to normal tissue. MRI enables diagnosing diseases at an early stage of their course. The parametric and non-parametric approaches to the identification of MRI models are presented and compared. The non-parametric modeling adopts gamma variate functions. The parametric three-compartmental catenary model, based on the general kinetic model, is also proposed. The parameters of the models are estimated on the basis of experimental data. The goodness of fit of the gamma variate and the three-compartmental models to the data and the accuracy of the parameter estimates are compared. Kalman filtering, smoothing the measurements, was adopted to improve the estimate accuracy of the parametric model. Parametric modeling gives a better fit and better parameter estimates than non-parametric and allows an insight into the functioning of the system. To improve the accuracy optimal experiment design related to the input signal was performed.