What: Brain Imaging Series Lecture
When: TUESDAY, November 16, 2010 3:15-4:15pm
Who: Free, Open to the public
Where: Center for Advanced Brain Imaging, Conference Room

“Biomagnetics: An interdisciplinary field where magnetics, biology and medicine overlap.”

Prof. Shoogo Ueno
Kyushu University/Teikyo University/The University of Tokyo

Biomagnetics is an interdisciplinary field where magnetics, biology and medicine overlap. It has a long history since 1600, when William Gilbert published his book De Magnete. Recent advances in biomagnetics have enabled us not only to detect extremely weak magnetic fields from the human brain, but also to control cell orientation and cell growth by extremely high magnetic fields. Pulsed magnetic fields are used for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the human brain, and both high frequency magnetic fields and magnetic nanoparticles have promising therapeutic applications for treatments of cancers and brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. On the imaging front, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is now a powerful tool for basic and clinical medicine. New methods of MRI based on the imaging of impedance of the human body, called impedance MRI, and the imaging of neuronal current activities in the human brain, called current MRI, are also being developed.

This lecture focuses on the advances in biomagnetics and bioimaging obtained mostly in our laboratory in recent years. The lecture describes: (1) a method of localized magnetic stimulation of the human brain by TMS with a figure-eight coil; (2) magneto-encephalography (MEG) to measure extremely weak magnetic fields produced from brain electrical activity using superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) systems; (3) impedance MRI and current MRI; (4) cancer therapy and control of iron-ion release from, and uptake into, ferritin, an iron-storage protein, by using both high frequency and pulsed magnetic fields and magnetic nanoparticles; and (5) magnetic control of biological cell orientation and cell growth by strong static magnetic fields. These new biomagnetic approaches will open new horizons in brain research, brain treatment, and regenerative medicine.

Shoogo Ueno is the IEEE Magnetics Society Distinguished Lecturer. He received the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. (Dr. Eng.) degrees in electronic engineering from Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, in 1966, 1968, and 1972, respectively. He subsequently served as a professor in the Department of Electronics, Kyushu University (1986-1994) and in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo (1994-2006). Since 2006 he has been a professor with the Department of Applied Quantum Physics, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University, and dean of the Faculty of Medical Technology, Teikyo University, Fukuoka.

Dr. Ueno is a Fellow of the IEEE (2001) and of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2001). He is a Fellow and Member-at-Large of the Governing Council of the International Academy for Medical and Biological Engineering (2006). He was an elected member of the IEEE Magnetics Society Administrative Committee (2004-2009). He was President of the Bioelectromagnetics Society (2003-2004), Chairman of the International Union of Radio Science’s Commission K on Electromagnetics in Biology and Medicine (2000-2003), President of the Japan Biomagnetism and Bioelectromagnetics Society (1999-2001), President of the Magnetics Society of Japan (2001-2003), and President of the Japanese Society for Medical and Biological Engineering (2002-2004). He received the Doctor Honoris Causa from Linkoping University, Linkoping, Sweden (1998). He was a 150th Anniversary Jubilee Visiting Professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden (2006), and a visiting professor at Simon Frasier University, Burnaby, Canada (1994) and Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia (2008).

What: Brain Imaging Series Lecture
When: November 17, 2010 3:15-4:15pm
Who: Free, Open to the public
Where: Georgia Tech, Coon bldg, Rm 250

Jay Hegdé
Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA

Vision as Inference: Human fMRI and Monkey Neurophysiological Studies


Studying brain function as a process of statistical inference is an approach that holds considerable, albeit often hyped, promise. The central idea behind this approach is that sensory information is fundamentally ambiguous, and that the brain operates by combining all pertinent sources of information to arrive at a likely interpretation of the sensory information and an optimal course of action. Our research focuses primarily on the neural mechanisms of inference in the context of visual cognition in humans and monkeys. I will present some of our recent results on how the brain uses the prior knowledge of the visual world to infer the nature of the visual image.

What: Brain Imaging Series Lecture
When: November 8, 2010 3-4pm
Who: Free, Open to the public
Where: Center for Advanced Brain Imaging, Conference Room

Sven Mueller, PhD

Hormonal contributions to cognitive and brain development: evidence from behavioral and fMRI/MRI studies in adolescents with genetic disorders of androgen and cortisol dysfunction

Hormonal imbalances during critical periods of development may have long-lasting effects on behavioural and brain development and may carry increased risk for later psychopathology and cognitive impairment. Data will be presented that suggests a high incidence of ADHD and mood and anxiety disorders in adolescents with chronic endocrinological disorders of genetic origin such as Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) or Familial Male Precocious Puberty (FMPP). These disorders are characterized by excess androgen and/or impairment of adrenal cortisol biosynthesis. Studies in these endocrinological disorders provide a natural model to examine long-term consequences of such early hormonal disturbances. Three lines of evidence will be presented that illustrate the impact of hormonal dysfunction on cognitive and brain development. First, behavioural studies in CAH and FMPP suggest cognitive perturbations in tasks recruiting critical structures of the medial temporal lobe. Second, these data will be complemented by fMRI evidence that uncover the neural mechanisms of these processes and further demonstrate critical sex differences in performance and neural responses. Finally, the data will be integrated with evidence from morphological (VBM) analyses that suggest altered grey matter volume in structures underlying these cognitive processes. The findings are placed in the context of hormonal influences on neurodevelopment and mood and anxiety disorders. The data support the idea that early steroids abnormalities during development can have important effects on crucial brain-behavior relationships in general and the temporal lobe specifically.