Towards Characterizing Brain Communication Mechanisms Via Multi-Modal Imaging

Prof. Laleh Najafizadeh received a 4-year $323,134 grant from Siemens for the project "Towards Characterizing Brain Communication Mechanisms Via Multi-Modal Imaging".

The abstract is as follows:

Over the past two decades, studies of human brain function using functional brain imaging techniques, have let to the knowledge that human cognition arises from the contribution of large collections of brain networks which are continuously forming and dissolving at several spatial and temporal scales.

How, when and where these networks form, and how their communication/connection can be changed in time (through stimulation for example), are fundamental challenging questions, that if addressed, will potentially open up venues toward therapeutic development for cognitive improvement of several brain-related disorders. Functional brain imaging techniques, depending on the type of physical variable they measure, each present their own spatial and temporal resolutions.

Electroencephalography (EEG) offers high temporal resolution (ms), however, has a relatively modest spatial resolution (cm). Functional magnetic resonant imaging (fMRI), on the other hand, provides a great spatial resolution (mm), but it is sensitive to hemodynamic response, which is an indirect measure of neuronal activities. Combining high-resolution EEG and fMRI imaging techniques, offers the opportunity to study neurophysiological events related to brain activities in high temporal and spatial resolutions. The objective of this project is to study the communication mechanisms of brain networks on two different scales by combining multi-modal information from EEG and fMRI.