Functional MRI Visiting Fellowship: A five-day intensive introduction

Robert L. Savoy, Ph.D., Director of fMRI Education
Bruce R. Rosen, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the MGH/MIT/HMS Martinos Center
NEXT PROGRAM: September 29 - October 3, 2014
Program Code: 2014Sep29

Short Course in Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

The pioneering work of the Martinos Center spurred an explosion of research in functional brain imaging. While we have known for almost 100 years that neural activity causes localized changes in blood flow, and researchers have more recently demonstrated that neural activity causes localized changes in blood oxygenation, the tools for measuring these signals have historically been highly invasive in animals and moderately invasive in humans. The seminal work of an extraordinary team of physicists, radiologists, and neuroscientists at the Martinos Center, demonstrating that these changes and blood flow and blood oxygenation can be detected by the noninvasive technology of MRI, has led to a dramatic increase in functional brain imaging work with humans. Because this noninvasive technique permits many repetitions of experimental procedures on a single subject, it is rapidly becoming the method of choice for neuroscience research in functional brain mapping. The purpose of the present course is to provide an in-depth introduction to this field. It is primarily intended for people new to functional MRI, though some experienced scientists have found the program useful.

Curriculum

Students will receive a firm grounding in the fundamentals of fMRI. This will include the basic physics of MR imaging, the biology and biophysics of the hemodynamic responses to neural activity, data analysis (including both exploratory and statistical analyses), stimulus presentation and response recording in the context of high magnetic fields and electromagnetic pulses, and the design of perceptual and cognitive experiments. Some advanced topics (especially related to issues of connectivity) have been added. A special emphasis of the course will be the design, implementation, and execution of perceptual and/or cognitive experiments by the participants. Participants will break into small groups to design their own fMRI experiments. Barring unforeseen problems, some of these experiments will be executed, and the resulting data analyzed, on the final day of the course. The core faculty is drawn from the staff of the Athinoula A. Martinos Center (of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and affiliated faculty from Harvard University, Boston University, McLean Hospital and other institutions.

Schedule

(View a sample schedule here)

Course Lectures and Discussions will run from 8AM until approximately 6PM during all but the last day of the program, with additional activities scheduled for some of the evenings. The last day will be shorter, ending no later than 3pm. The program will include two sessions in an MRI suite: one—normally on the first day of the program—to demonstrate the facilities and to collect structural data on one or more subjects, the other—normally on the fourth day of the program—to run class-designed fMRI experiments. On two evenings we will enjoy a catered dinner in the Atrium Restaurant at the Martinos Center. After these dinners we will re-convene to design and implement the fMRI experiments. These two evening sessions typically end no later than 10PM.

Registration

Please follow the links below to register for upcoming courses. Enrollment is limited; early registration is recommended.

Sep 29 – Oct 3, 2014 (Program Code: 2014Sep29)

March 23 - 27, 2015 (Program Code: 2015Mar23)

October 5 - 9, 2015 (Program Code:2015Oct05)

AFTER Registering

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Funding and Fees

This program is sponsored in part by the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, which provides space, various imaging resources, and most of the faculty. The remainder of the funding is provided by participant tuition. This tuition will be: US$1500 for regular participants and US$1000 for graduate students. (Post-doctoral trainees who are unable to get institutional or grant funding—and must therefore pay the tuition out-of-pocket—are eligible for a discounted rate of US$1250.)

Accommodations

Information about recommended and alternative accommodations can be found here.