The majority of our projects involve Diffusion Weighted Imaging (DWI) -- a type of MRI scan that resolves the water diffusivity along each direction for each volume unit (voxel) across the entire brain. Due to fascicle geometry in the white matter, we are able reconstruct neuronal pathways (tracts) between grey matter regions. Even the most basic reconstruction, Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), which models the diffusion process as a simple ellipsoid, allows for a wide variety of clinical analyses, with wide-ranging results in varied domains, such as specific diseases (e.g. Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, chronic and acute stroke), as well as neuro-typical Development and Aging, Traumatic Brain Injury and recovery, Gender and demographic differences, and genetic studies of brain macro/meso-architecture.
Our lab also develops more advanced diffusion models and methods, including the utilization of high-angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI), the development of new local diffusion models, and the development and validation of new (global) tractography methods.
Connectomics is the study of brain connectivity. Usually represented by a network of brain macro-scale regions connected by either diffusion-recovered tracts or estimated activity (e.g. fMRI BOLD), in recent years connecitivity has been the focus of much research in the neuroimaging community. Projects at the IGC include Rich Club analyses, developmental connectomics, the ENIGMA working group for connectivity, connectivity and genetics, as well as investigating structural connectivity from a clinical perspective (i.e. the effect of disease on the connectome). Ongoing projects also involve alternate representations of connectivity, including a recent paper on continuous representations of connectivity.