The Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Neural Dynamics (MIND) lab focuses on developing techniques to image and characterize functional networks in the brain using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI is an amazing research tool because, depending on how you manipulate the parameters, you can produce images that show exquisite anatomical structure, how much blood is flowing through the brain, how much oxygen is being used, or which direction the axons run.
Much of our research involves mapping functional connectivity with resting-state MRI, a method that identifies networks based on correlations in the MRI signal. This technique usually examines ‘steady-state’ relationships between areas that persist for minutes, but exciting new work from our group and others has shown that information about network dynamics can also be obtained using specialized analysis techniques. The difficulty lies in interpreting these dynamics, as the MRI signal is only indirectly related to neural activity and can be contaminated with physiological noise. Our current research addresses this problem in two ways. First, we are tying network dynamics to behavioral outputs in human volunteers, and second, we have developed simultaneous MRI and microelectrode recording to directly link the MRI signal and the underlying neural activity in the rat. More details regarding our research and recent publications can be found on the corresponding pages.