LONI: Laboratory of Neuro Imaging

Research

The primary goal of ICBM has been and remains, the development of a probabilistic reference system for the human brain as an important neuroinformatics tool for use by the neuroscience community. To this end we have been incrementingexisting data sets, analysis software and data base capabilities, expanding the range of studies with the inclusion of additional in vivo and post mortem data sets, and integrating the existing structural, functional and structure-function atlases that we have produced.

Structure

Research into structure has been divided into three distinct fields: white matter imaging, vascular anatomy, and micro-structure. The White Matter Imaging project is focused on establishing a common DTI protocol and testing the quality of DTI data from participating sites with a goal of generating a large normal DTI database and probabilistic white matter atlas. The vascular anatomy project is conecentrated on automatically vectorizing the MR angiographic and venographic information contained in MR image stack. The Micro-structure has a number of goals. In short, the goals are to create and correlate multiple histological data sets in post mortem specimens, map the human superior parietal lobule and anterior medial intraparietal sulcus, create a cytoarchitectonic mapping of the posterior insular cortex in the human brain, parcellate the human ventral extrastriate cortex, and analyze the receptorarchitecture of the human temporal cortex. More

Function

The Function project encompasses analysis of data from normal human subjects using imaging modalities that are more intimately linked to the function of the brain than to traditional anatomy.  These include fMRI (functional MRI) and PET (positron emission tomography) measures of blood flow, receptor binding densities as measured using PET, and MEG (magnetoencephalography). The function research is divided into two areas of study, the application of cytoarchitectonic maps for analyzing brain function and serotonin receptor PET. The application of cytoarchitectonic maps is further divided into the analysis of the parieto-insular vestibular cortex, the analysis of visual word recognition, the analysis of the visual system, and the feasibility of combining cytoarchitectonic probabilistic maps and neuroreceptor rPET data. The serotonin receptor PET project is focused on the use of [18F]-altanserin method application in PET studies on humans. More

Integrated Atlases

We published a broad range of work focused on developing new mathematical approaches for mapping brain development and disease. These expand the probabilistic atlas concept to include large and growing MRI data components from diseased populations. This work has been widely reported in the national media as it produced the first maps of methamphetamine effects on brain structure, and the first time-lapse maps of the developing brain. We have now compiled a detailed four-dimensional MRI-based atlas of brain changes in normal development. We are beginning to calibrate dynamic changes in pediatric disorders against this dynamic atlas, which is the first of its kind. A numer of key findings were made pertaining to: methamphetamine and the brain, dynamic atlasing of pediatric MRI, mapping HIV/AIDS effects on brain structure, and mapping genotype-phenotype effects in Williams syndrome. More