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Molly Bright. Adding vascular insight to the fMRI experiment


What: Adding vascular insight to the fMRI experiment

Who: Molly Bright, PhD, Assistant Professor, McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University, IL, US.

When: June 18th, 4 PM

In fMRI data, numerous physiologic sources contribute to the measured signals. We typically aim to model and remove these effects (e.g., heart rate, breathing changes) during data preprocessing, which is itself an active and evolving area of research. However, we can also intentionally amplify and characterize physiologic effects in our data by slightly adapting our experimental protocol, thereby making fMRI a truly multiparametric imaging modality. Such insight complements our assessment of neural activity and connectivity in fMRI data, and allows new exploration into the coupling between neural and vascular physiology. This is extremely valuable information when applying fMRI in a range of neurological pathologies where the vasculature is often implicated in disease and symptom progression. In this talk, we will discuss how cerebrovascular physiology can be assessed in the context of fMRI, when and how this information may contribute to our understanding of disease, and emerging insight into the complex relationships between neural and vascular processes in the human brain.