Research in CUBRIC allows us to undertake cutting-edge methods research and apply this to key psychological and clinical questions. This research aims to have a direct impact on understanding human health and well being, including the brain changes that lead to disordered cognition and mental health.
One of CUBRIC’s key research foci is in microstructural imaging. We utilise multiple imaging contrasts to quantify different aspects of white matter, including standard diffusion tensor MRI (DT-MRI), ‘advanced’ models of diffusion (e.g. CHARMED), multi-component relaxometry, quantitative magnetization transfer, and quantitative susceptibility mapping…
We employ a variety of brain stimulation methods (TMS, tES) to study perception, attention and higher cognition. We are also working to enhance and refine these methods, both in isolation and in combination with brain imaging techniques, including concurrent fMRI, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and MEG…
We use EEG to address a wide range of questions about cognition in both healthy volunteers and patient groups. One of our main focuses is on episodic memory, which is memory for events from our personal past. CUBRIC promotes a multi-modal approach to understanding research problems, therefore EEG is also used simultaneously with other techniques such as fMRI.
Clinical neuroimaging research at CUBRIC has three main aims:
1. To further the understanding of the mechanisms of neurological and psychiatric disorders
2. To develop and evaluate imaging protocols for the monitoring of disease evolution and treatment effects
3. To incorporate neuroimaging into new treatment programmes with a focus on mental health and neurorehabilitation
In its conventional form, exploiting blood oxygenation level dependence, fMRI is used for basic and clinical neuroscience research in CUBRIC to map a wide range of brain functions. These range from higher cognitive processes to the brain’s control of the body’s basic physiological processes.
This lab uses a combination of experimental psychology, multimodal brain imaging (fMRI, diffusion MRI, MR spectroscopy, PET) and neuropsychology to explore a range of topics at the intersection of cognitive, social and health neuroscience.
MEG measures the extremely weak magnetic fields generated by post-synaptic potentials in the brain, and can be used to map functional activity across the cortex with millisecond time resolution. One of its key strengths is in studying the role of cortical oscillatory dynamics in underpinning cognitive functions, both in local regions of the cortex and in mediating the dynamics of transiently connected functional networks across the brain. In CUBRIC, we use cortical oscillations as markers of cognitive function in health and diseases such as Epilepsy, Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s, as well as a sensitive probe of the action of pharmacological agents.