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Structural & Functional Brain Connectivity

MRI Diffusion tensor imaging
Dr. N. Jade Thai, Dr. Olivia Longe, Prof. Stefano Seri

We apply measures of functional connectivity to investigate neural networks subsiding human behaviour. Functional MRI (fMRI) allows us to identify the brain regions that make up the neural network and how these interact to support behaviour. Prior to the development of neuroimaging techniques, this was not possible with the current level of detail other than with invasive studies.
How close are animal models of memory to the neural basis of memory in humans? Human fMRI provide evidence of multiple neural systems supporting memory in humans, that cannot be accounted for by animal models.

We have recently published a review of the techniques and analysis methods for investigating neural connectivity patterns in the brain using fMRI. We have also implemented these methods in our fMRI studies of both sensory processing; using dynamic causal modelling and cognitive functions using psychophysiological interaction analyses. Understanding brain connectivity in both the healthy and pathological brain with fMRI in humans will reduce and refine the animal studies that try to mimic and model pathology seen in humans such as Epilepsy and Depression. Furthermore the functional connectivity studies with fMRI can be complimented by structural connectivity studies using Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI). d

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)

Dr. N. Jade Thai, Dr. Joel Talcott, Prof Stefano Seri.

DTI is a technique capable of depicting the anatomy of the white matter fibre tracts in the brain. Studies using DTI allow us to look at the relationship between grey and white matter in normal brain development and in developmental disorders such as ADHD, dyslexia and autism. We are using DTI also to investigate the epileptic networks and how these are responsible of the different clinical manifestations of epileptic syndromes.