Functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, is a technique for measuring brain activity. It works by detecting the changes in blood oxygenation and flow that occur in response to neural activity – when a brain area is more active it consumes more oxygen and to meet this increased demand blood flow increases to the active area. fMRI can be used to produce activation maps showing which parts of the brain are involved in a particular mental process.
Our department uses imaging to improve basic understanding of the brain and to translate those findings into medical applications. We are using brain imaging to: investigate pain; understand ageing and disease processes; research the the visual system; find out how the brain changes when we learn, get older, or recover from damage; study anatomical brain connections and regional brain function; and investigate frontal-limbic dysfunction.
We also develop new magnetic resonance imaging methods and research new methodologies for the analysis of functional and structural brain imaging data. We are looking at ultra-high field magnetic resonance; image acquisition, reconstruction and contrast; and biophysical modelling.