Analyzing neurological disorders using functional and structural brain imaging data

This talk from Microsoft Research focuses on studying brain paths and functional connectivity. Presently, connectivity thought to be one of the following:

  • Anatomical – relating to neural circuitry and direct neuronal connections (for example, telephone wires)
  • Functional – relating to spatially remote correlations in activity (for example, who talks to whom frequently)
  • Effective – relating to causality, the impact one neuronal system exerts on another (for example, who tends to initiate phone calls)

1

In this talk we overview methodology for predicting and analyzing clinical outcomes, especially focusing on neurological disorders, using functional and structural brain imaging data. We focus on resting state functional connectivity data via fMRI as well as structural imaging data via T1 MRI and diffusion weighted MRI. We consider these modalities and variety of methods for feature extraction, prediction and analysis. We apply the methodology to developmental disorders, particularly attention deficit hyperactivity, cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

This talk made me think of a book I have read many years ago, Professor Dowell’s Head written in 1925 by Alexander Belyayev. It should be technically feasible to disconnect head from a body, pump nutrients to the brain with blood, and keep the head alive eternally, until brain cells decay. Even the cells are probably possible to regenerate. Scary thought…

References

Talk @Microsoft Research by Brian Caffo

Statistical Methods and Applications for Research in Technology (SMART) working group of the Department of Biostatistics in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University

Brain Connectivity: A New Journal Emerges. Christopher Pawelacorresponding and Bharat Biswal

Modules and brain mapping. Karl J. Friston and Cathy J. Price

Creativity in the Brain

Suzana Herculano-Houzel: What is so special about the human brain

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