The human brain is one of the most complex structures of the universe. Understanding how it works is one of the hardest scientific challenges nowadays. Magnetic resonsance imaging (MRI) is so far the only imaging method that allows in-vivo non-invasive quantification of both human brain anatomy and function. Like all neuroimaging methods MRI has its limitations. When considering anatomical MRI, challenges include the accuracy and reliability of the metrics that are derived from the images to characterize gray and white matter tissue properties. With regards to functional MRI, challenges include the sensitivity and specificity of the functional contrast, geometric distortions present in the images, noise in the signal from sources that are not related to neural activation, as well as the search for novel useful biomarkers from the signal dynamics that can better characterize cognitive state and/or disease.
The CIMEC MRI Methods Group focuses on addressing such challenges. We attempt this by developing and evaluating new MRI acquisition and analysis techniques. Our group collaborates with a variety of local and external projects where our MRI methods are applied in basic cognitive science and clinical research. We have aggregated experience from multiple MRI vendors (Siemens, Bruker, Philips and GE) and various field strengths (1.5T, 3.0T, 4.0T and 7.0T).