Functional magnetic resonance imaging makes visible where and when regions of the brain change activity to support conscious and unconscious thoughts. This figure illustrates one aspect of the results obtained using the Sternberg Item Recognition Paradigm to investigate working memory; how a person keeps a thought "in mind" for a short period of time. Regions of increased activity in the Dorsolateral Prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and Supplementary Motor Area (SMA) are observed during the act of matching the information held in memory to a question asked by the experimenter. This increased activity is indicated by the hotter colors (yellow and red) of the pseudo-color statistical maps describing the activity of one subject’s brain overlaid on a standardized anatomical template structural magnetic resonance image. (From the NCRR-supported Biomedical Informatics Research Network project for the development of calibration and standardization of MRI technology. Image courtesy of D. Manoach and N. White, 2003.)
This course features a complete set of labs
and an extensive list of readings
This team taught, multidisciplinary course covers the fundamentals of magnetic resonance imaging relevant to the conduct and interpretation of human brain mapping studies. The challenges inherent in advancing our knowledge about brain function using fMRI are presented first to put the work in context. The course then provides in depth coverage of the physics of image formation, mechanisms of image contrast, and the physiological basis for image signals. Parenchymal and cerebrovascular neuroanatomy and application of sophisticated structural analysis algorithms for segmentation and registration of functional data are discussed. Additional topics include fMRI experimental design including block design, event related and exploratory data analysis methods, building and applying statistical models for fMRI data. Human subjects issues including informed consent, institutional review board requirements and safety in the high field environment are presented.
MATLAB® software is required to view and run the .mat files found on this course site.