Brain Imaging Core
The Brain Imaging Core (BIC) provides technical and scientific support for multimodal brain imaging (MRI, PET, electrophysiology) for IDDRC Research Affiliates who are interested in leveraging advanced neuroimaging methods to address research questions pertinent to the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The overall goal of the Core is to support affiliates and train junior investigators to perform scientifically sound research by providing a variety of (and selecting appropriate) advanced imaging modalities such as structural and functional/physiologic MRI, multinuclear MR spectroscopy, PET, ERP/EEG, and MEG as well as by designing study-specific sophisticated analysis tools for both human and animal studies. To maximize resources and access for IDDRC affiliates to a broad spectrum of valuable and costly resources in this highly complex and equipment-intensive area, the BIC operates in close collaboration with the Diagnostic Imaging Sciences Center (DISC) MR Research Laboratories and the Integrated Brain Imaging Center (IBIC), both of which are dedicated research units of the UW Department of Radiology. The Human Electrophysiology Component (HEC) of the Core operates partly within IBIC and in collaboration with the Institute for Learning and Brain Science (I-LABS).
Specific services are as follows:
- To provide expert technical and scientific guidance in all aspects of brain imaging study design including selection of the most appropriate imaging methods and optimization of imaging parameters such as the use of computer generated EEG source imaging, development of study-specific static and dynamic PET imaging protocols, and design of appropriate stimulus paradigms for functional imaging studies;
- To provide training and assistance in preparing research subjects. This includes but is not limited to the use of our mock scanner (MR scan simulator) for training subjects in proper performance on experimental tasks and reducing voluntary motion. This is especially critical when studying young children with IDD;
- To facilitate development of specialized equipment including custom radiofrequency (RF) MRI coils and adapting devices for specific experiment designs;
- To assist in developing unique imaging protocols that are study-specific. These may include novel MR pulse sequence design/development for specialized experiments for human as well as animal studies;
- To train affiliates, students, and postdocs in safe use of MR scanners, ERP/EEG/MEG imaging equipment, and nuclear imaging techniques (PET);
- To provide expert IT assistance and support for image acquisition, storage, transfer, and backup;
- To train and assist investigators and team members in accurate data collection, selection of the best image analysis methods for their experiment, and the use of advanced image analysis techniques; and
- To train and assist investigators, students, and staff in procedures, risks, and methodology for preparing Human Subjects IRB applications specific for neuroimaging research projects.
To optimally support these objectives, the BIC is organized into 3 highly interactive components:
- technical MRI and PET acquisition and experiment development;
- MR and PET image post-processing and analysis; and
- all aspects related to human electrophysiology.
Each component of the Core is led by a scientist with expertise in the respective area and all interact closely and provide valuable support to affiliates in a seamless and complementary fashion.
Technical Support and Development Component
Image Analysis Component
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