Quick Project Snapshot

MRI brain parcellation based on data-driven methods

One of the Lab’s research interest is the use of brain connectivity information (and, in particular, in combining structural and functional connectivity information) to perform data-driven parcellation of the brain (i.e. sub-division of the brain structures into well-define parcels or regions of meaningful anatomical or functional significance). For example, we have recently demonstrated how the combination of structural connectivity, functional connectivity and dynamic connectivity can be exploited to parcellate the corpus callosum (one of the largest white matters structures in the human brain) (see figure). This white matter parcellation can be subsequently used, in combination with diffusion MRI fibre-tracking, to achieve cortical segregation (see figure). All these results are obtained in a data-driven way, without having to rely on a prior assumption of how the white matter or cerebral cortex is subdivided. Our Lab will continue to develop and optimise these type of connectivity-based parcellation methods, as well as to assess their role in various neurological disorders.

Reference:
Calamante F, Smith RE, Liang X, Zalesky A, Connelly A. Track-weighted dynamic functional connectivity (TWdFC): a new method to study dynamic connectivity. In Proc. Annual Meeting of the Intl. Soc. Mag. Reson. Med. (ISMRM) 24 (2016), Singapore, p. 308.
 

Connectivity-based parcellation of corpus callosum. (a) Mid-sagittal section, with independent components (IC) involving the corpus callosum. Colours for each component were arbitrarily chosen to aid visualisation. (b) and (c) show cortical connections for tracks traversing each parcels, displayed as lateral sagittal slice (b), or from above (c).

MRI Blood Flow and Brain Connectivity Laboratory

Recent advances in MRI have revolutionised the way we investigate brain structure, brain function, and brain network connectivity. Our lab's main research interests include the development and application of MRI methods to measure cerebral blood flow (Perfusion MRI), super-resolution MRI methods based on diffusion MRI fibre-tracking (Super-Resolution Track-Weighted Imaging), as well as the role of these methods to study brain structural and functional connectivity. 

In particular, we specialise in the development of the two main Perfusion MRI techniques: Dynamic Susceptibility Contrast MRI (DSC-MRI) and Arterial Spin Labelling (ASL). The former is playing a key role in many clinical applications (e.g. stroke, tumours), while the latter provides a powerful quantitative tool to characterise functional connectivity.  

Super-Resolution Track-Weighted Imaging provides a means to exploit the information from whole-brain diffusion MRI fibre-tracking to achieve image resolution not previously possible in the human brain in vivo. This method not only can generate images with exquisite image detail, but also provides a unique framework to combine structural and functional connectivity information, and therefore investigate the structural-function relationships in brain networks. Given that the pathophysiological basis of many brain disorders is related to abnormalities in the structural and/or functional connections, this method is expected to have a major role in clinical neuroscience.

All Projects by this Lab

Perfusion MRI: novel methods to image cerebral blood flow and brain functionSuper-resolution MRI methods for the Human Brain ConnectomeMapping myeloarchitecture using diffusion MRIMRI brain parcellation based on data-driven methodsMapping cerebral haematocrit using MRINovel MRI methods to study dynamic brain connectivity

Imaging

The Florey is a world-leader in neuroimaging development and applied research. Both the Imaging and Epilepsy divisions specialise in advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods development, especially related to diffusion MRI, perfusion MRI, and methods to study brain functional and structural connectivity. Functional MRI (fMRI) and simultaneous fMRI and electroencephalography (fMRI-EEG) methods development and application are also a major priority. Neuroimaging is also a crucial component of several studies undertaken in the Stroke division.

Software Available

All Labs that operate in this Division

Advanced MRI Development GroupImaging and EpilepsyMRI Blood Flow and Brain Connectivity Laboratory