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Multi-scale and multi-modal assessment of coupling in the healthy and diseased brain

CUBRIC’s Siemens Prisma 3T scanners.
Our Siemens Prisma 3T MRI scanner.

Our aim is to substantially deepen our understanding of how different brain systems (electrical, chemical, structural, metabolic) interact with each other and how differences in these interactions impact on brain function and behaviour.

A range of neuroimaging techniques has been developed to probe different systems. We apply these routinely but do not fully understand what they measure, and whether they tell us the full story about health and/or disease.

We also do not know how signals from different techniques link with each other. In this programme, we are studying healthy people and people where we already know there are differences in coupling, including people with epilepsy and psychosis. We are also studying coupling before and after perturbing the brain, through brain training, magnetic stimulation or pharamacological manipulation.

Our vision is to deliver a step change in understanding the human brain, by creating an imaging programme that uniquely combines the very best neuroimaging expertise, equipment and techniques.

We want to answer the fundamental question of how continuous interactions of electrical, chemical, vascular and metabolic processes result in the multi-scale network activity that underpins inter-individual differences in cognition, and key behavioural/functional brain changes in disease.

This integrated characterisation of brain coupling over multiple domains will transform our understanding of the working brain and guide approaches aimed at remedial action when normal coupling is disturbed.

Key goals

A team of 12 methodological and three clinical Fellows, each focused on a specific aspect of coupling, but applied within a systematic framework of integration, will allow us to achieve our key goals, which are to:

  • optimise signal capture using the most advanced imaging technologies to yield
    sensitive, robust and repeatable markers of structure/function
  • understand these signals thereby maximising their biological interpretability and value to neurocognitive models of human behaviour
  • develop an integrative modelling framework for combining data from multiple imaging modalities
  • characterise changes in multi-scale coupling following perturbations, including
    behavioural, electromagnetic and pharmacological interventions.

Funding

This project was made possible by the Wellcome Trust Strategic Award. Find out more about our funders.

Research team

Co-applicants on the Award

Publications acknowledging the Award

Preprint publications citing Award

Accepted abstracts

These 14 abstracts were accepted for International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) 2019:

  • Chandler H L et al.
    Quantification of cerebral grey matter vascular and metabolic function in multiple sclerosis using dual-calibrated fMRI. International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Montreal, 2019 (Digital Poster)
  • Chandler H L et al.
    Mapping brain oxygen metabolism with dual calibrated fMRI in pre-surgical evaluation of epilepsy: a case report comparison with FDG-PET. International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Montreal, 2019 (Digital Poster)
  • Drakesmith M, Rudrapatna SU, Jones DK.
    Mapping axonal conduction velocities from in vivo MRI data. International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Montreal, 2019 (Power Pitch)
  • Drakesmith M, Kleban E, Fasano F, Rudrapatna SU, Jones DK.
    Improved estimates of the g-ratio by modelling its contribution to complex signal evolution in GRE data. International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Montreal, 2019 (Digital Poster)
  • Germuska M, Chandler HL, Stickland RC, Foster C, Steventon J, Tomassini V, Murphy K, Wise RG.
    A frequency-domain machine learning (FML) method for dual-calibrated estimation of oxygen extraction fraction (OEF) and cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen metabolism (CMRO2). International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Montreal, 2019 (Digital Poster)
  • Jenkins C, Chandler M, Langbein F, Shermer S.
    Quantification of edited magnetic resonance spectroscopy: a comparative phantom based study of analysis methods. International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Montreal, 2019 (Digital Poster)
  • Koller K, Rudrapatna SU, Chamberland M, Raven EP, Parker GD, Tax CMW, Drakesmith M, Evans CJ, Wood TC, Jones DK.
    Powering Up Microstructural Imaging: assessing cross-metric and cross-tract statistical power on an ultra-strong gradient MRI system. International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Montreal, 2019 (Digital Poster)
  • Kopanoglu E, Tachrount M, Meliado EF, Klomp D, Evans J, Wise RG.
    Random RF Shimming may conceal possible local SAR hotspots for asymmetric parallel transmit coils. International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Montreal, 2019 (Digital Poster)
  • Mueller L, Rudrapatna SU, Tax CMW, Wise RG, Jones DK.
    Diffusion MRI with b=1000 s/mm2 at TE < 22 ms using single-shot spiral readout and ultra-strong gradients: Implications for microstructure imaging. International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Montreal, 2019 (Oral)
  • Rudrapatna SU, Mueller L, Venzi M, Wise RG, Jones DK.
    Can unprecedented echo times in human diffusion weighted fMRI help reveal its biological underpinnings? International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Montreal, 2019 (Digital Poster)
  • Rudrapatna SU, Mueller L, Wright ME, Jones DK, Wise RG.
    A GRANDIOSE sequence to time-lock BOLD and diffusion-weighted fMRI contrasts in humans using ultra-strong gradients and spirals. International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Montreal, 2019 (Power Pitch)
  • Tachrount M, Woorward B, Kopanoglu E, Italiaander M, Klomp D, Driver I, Wise R.
    Improving RF efficiency in the brain and the neck at 7T using a novel pTx coil. International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Montreal, 2019 (Digital Poster)
  • Tax CMW, Rudrapatna SU, Mueller L, Jones DK.
    Characterizing diffusion of myelin water in the living human brain using ultra-strong gradients and spiral readout. International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Montreal, 2019 (Oral)
  • Champagne A, Germuska M, Coverdale NS, Cook DJ.
    Multi-parametric analysis reveals metabolic and vascular effects driving differences in BOLD cerebrovascular reactivity associated with a history of sport concussion. International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Montreal, 2019 (Digital Poster)