Quick Project Snapshot

Laterality of brain function

Lateralisation of language function in the brain is often an important question in neurosurgical planning. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can be used to non-invasively map language function in the human brain. However interpretation of the distribution, pattern and extent of language activation can be heavily dependent on the quality of the study and the chosen statistical threshold. We therefore developed an objective, threshold-independent method of assessing when individual patients have statistically atypical language lateralisation. The method can also be applied to quantitatively assess laterality of other brain functions.

The method was first implemented and made publicly available in a software package called the iBrain Laterality Toolbox. This is now incorporated into the iBrain Analysis Toolbox for SPM.

See also iBrain software downloads.

Selected publications

Abbott DF, Waites AB, Lillywhite LM, Jackson GD.  fMRI assessment of language lateralization: An objective approach. Neuroimage 50(4):1446-1455. (2010). ( doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.01.059 ).

Abbott DF, Palmer SM, Low E, Jackson GD, Carey LM. An fMRI study of the relative laterality of dominant and non-dominant hand sensory function. Proc. Intl. Soc. Mag. Reson. Med. 20;2157 (2012).

A/Prof David Abbott

Epilepsy Neuroinformatics Laboratory

The Neuroinformatics Laboratory undertakes advanced neuroimaging analysis methods development and applied research to further our understanding of the human brain in health and disease. Whilst the work in the laboratory is relevant to a wide range of brain mapping applications, a particular emphasis of the research is towards methods that can help better understand the causes and consequences of epileptic seizures. This includes implementation, development and application of advanced image analysis procedures for structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) - including simultaneous EEG & fMRI. These non-invasive imaging modalities together with advanced computational methods are capable of mapping human brain activity at millimetre spatial resolution and millisecond temporal resolution. Our scientists work collaboratively with local and international clinical research teams, sharing analysis methods and data in a multidisciplinary pursuit of discovery.

The Neuroinformatics Laboratory has a range of software publicly available.  Please click below for further information and downloads.

Software Available


All Projects by this Lab

Functional neuroimaging analysis to identify brain abnormality in epilepsyArtefact reduction in functional MRIFunctional connectivity and the human brain functional connectomeFunctional MRI Processing PipelinesLaterality of brain functionMorphometryQuantitative voxel-based analysis of qualitative imagesSimultaneous EEG-fMRIT2 relaxometry


The Florey's Epilepsy division is a world-leading centre for epilepsy research. The division has major groups at both the Florey’s Austin and Parkville campus. The group studies mechanisms that cause epilepsy from the level of cells to the function of the whole brain. We use technologies including advanced MRI and cutting edge cellular physiology techniques to allow us to understand genetic and acquired mechanisms that give rise to epilepsy. Together with our colleagues from The University of Melbourne and across Australia we are working towards finding a cure for epilepsy.

All Labs that operate in this Division

Epilepsy Cognition LaboratoryEpilepsy Neuroinformatics LaboratoryImaging and EpilepsyInnate Phagocytosis LaboratoryIon Channels and Human Diseases LaboratoryNeural Networks LaboratoryNeurophysiology of Excitable Networks LaboratoryPsychology and Experimental NeurophysiologySleep and CognitionTraumatic Brain Injury Laboratory