Brain Imaging Methods
Research Approaches & Highlights
Recent developments include methods to assess brain change over time, automated analyses (incl. voxel based methods), Texture Analysis techniques, and Diffusion Tensor Imaging to assess white matter.
Diffusion Tensor Imaging
Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) is a relatively new neuroimaging technique that provides an estimate of the health of white matter in the brain. This technique measures the flow or “diffusion” of water molecules through, around, and across different types of tissue in the brain. Briefly, around white matter fibers, the flow of water molecules is constrained so we can estimate the direction and strength of the connections. We have collected DTI data from individuals with a range of mental illnesses and also a large group of people from the general population.
In a recently completed NH&MRC funded project led by Dr Murat Yücel, we are using multiple brain imaging techniques acquired from the same individuals to map all the connections from the anterior cingulate cortex to other parts of the brain. This is the first time that anyone has had enough data and the methodological techniques to attempt this ambitious goal in living participants.
In contrast to the usual means of analyzing brain scans, we have been developing methods to examine differences in ‘texture’ across brain scans that may be informative about anomalies of brain development. We have been developing these methods in collaboration with Dr Joselito Chua from the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSSE), The University of Melbourne.