The 3rd ENU Annual Workshop

Where: Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Science

Edmond J. Safra Campus

The ELSC Neuroimaging Unit (ENU) is delighted to invite you to its third annual ENU workshop at the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at The Hebrew University.

This year we host the BrainVoyager team for a two-day course on various fMRI analysis tools. BrainVoyager is a powerful neuroimaging software for data management and data analysis for fMRI, DTI, EEG and MEG. This course will cover the fMRI package and consists of lectures and hands-on exercises with your own laptops.

We’ll also have an afternoon scientific session with Prof. Rainer Goebel (Maastricht University) and Prof. Nikolaus Weiskopf (UCL).



On the topic of: “Revealing Mesoscopic Coding Principles in the Human Brain with Ultra-High Magnetic Field fMRI”

Abstract: Ultra-high magnetic field (UHF) scanners (7 Tesla and higher) provide the possibility to study the functional organization of the human brain at the level of cortical columns and cortical layers. First progress in this direction has been achieved by revealing individual topographic columnar-level orientation maps in human primary visual cortex, frequency maps in primary auditory cortex and axis-of-motion maps in area hMT/V5. In an extension to multi-sensory stimuli, we revealed that increased spatial resolution at 7 Tesla leads to a better segregation of unimodal and heteromodal voxels in the superior temporal gyrus and planum temporale. More recently, also cognitive tasks have been investigated at the mesoscopic level. We, for example, relate the content of perception during perceptual switches of ambiguous motion stimuli (Plaids) to dynamic activation changes in direction-selective columns in area hMT/V5. Furthermore, we reveal that top-down effects in visual tasks operate on supragranular cortical layers in area V1, which is compatible with predictive coding theories. The presented studies demonstrate that the achievable mesoscopic level of investigation (columns and layers) offered by UHF fMRI allows to map columnar-level features within specialized brain areas as well as revealing layer-specific functional bottom-up and top-down connectivity. Furthermore, mesoscopic fMRI establishes an important bridge to invasive animal research, especially to optical imaging and electrical neuronal population recordings.

Second talk at 18:00 with Nikolaus Weiskopf, University College London, UK, and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany

On the topic of:

“Towards In-Vivo Histology using MRI”

Abstract: Understanding the normal and diseased human brain crucially depends on reliable knowledge of its anatomical microstructure and functional micro-organization (e.g., cortical layers and columns of 200-1000µm dimension). Even small changes in this microstructure can cause debilitating diseases. Until now, the microstructure can only be reliably determined using invasive methods, e.g., ex-vivo histology. This limits neuroscience, clinical research and diagnosis. I will discuss how an interdisciplinary approach developing novel MRI acquisition methods, image processing methods and integrated biophysical models aims to achieve quantitative histological measures of brain tissue, leading to the emerging field of in vivo histology using MRI. In particular, I will present recent methodological advances in quantitative MRI and related biophysical modelling. Examples will include: characterization of cortical myelination and its relation to function; mapping of the axonal g-ratio in a population; changes due to spinal cord injury; age-related brain changes. The presentation will conclude with an outlook on future developments, applications and the potential impact of in-vivo histology using MRI.

“Working memory”