TITLE: Neuroimaging with ultrahigh magnetic fields: from cortical columns to whole brain function, connectivity, and morphology
SPEAKER: Prof. Dr. Kamil Uğurbil, University of Minnesota, Departments of Biochemistry, Radiology and Medicine
DATE/TIME: 28 May 2014, Wednesday, 15:00
Place: Sabanci University, FENS G032
The two decades that followed the introduction of functional brain imaging (fMRI) based on magnetic resonance (MR) techniques produced a revolution in the ability to image neuronal activity in animal and human brains non-invasively, going from early experiments demonstrating relatively course images of activity in the visual cortex to mapping columnar organizations with laminar differentiation. These developments have relied on ever increasing magnetic fields, new imaging and image reconstruction methods, and a rigorous, albeit as of yet incomplete, understanding of the mechanisms underlying the functional mapping signals. These functional studies have been complemented with imaging of morphology, providing increasingly detailed depictions of axonal fibers, cerebral blood vessels, myelin distribution etc.
The latest application of these methodological developments target comprehensive description of the functional and anatomical connections among gray matter locations in the human brain at the millimeter scale, under support from the Human Connectome Project (HCP). Exploiting the recent advances in instrumentation and imaging methods, studies undertaken in the HCP provide data on whole-brain connectivity with previously unavailable resolution and insights through systematic studies of large population of twins and their non-twin siblings.
Dr. Kamil Ugurbil is a Professor in the Departments of Radiology, Neurosciences, and Medicine, and holds the McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair of Radiology at the University of Minnesota. He is also the Director of the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR). He received A.B. and Ph.D. degrees in physics and chemical physics from Columbia University, New York. He worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories and returned to Columbia University in 1979 as an Assistant Professor. In 1982, he moved to the University of Minnesota. His research interests include development of ultrahigh field magnetic resonance methodology for imaging and spectroscopy, high specificity and high resolution mapping of brain function using MR methods and ultra-high magnetic fields, mechanisms of coupling of MR detectable signals to brain activity, oxidative-metabolism in the brain and neurochemistry and cardiac bioenergetics- regulation of oxidative phosphorylation and mechanical work.