Brain activation is characterized by a series of electrical, chemical and hemodynamic events. Neuronal activities are accompanied by release of neurotransmitters, changes in synaptic potentials, and initiation of action potentials. Increases in neuronal activities also induce changes in glucose and oxygen metabolism. In addition, brain activation results in pronounced hemodynamic responses, including changes in cerebral blood flow, cerebral blood volume, oxygen tension in parenchymal tissue and oxygenation status of the blood.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques can be used to evaluate these changes in vivo.
The research in our laboratory is focused on the development of novel MRI technologies for the measurement of vital physiological and biophysical parameters, and on their applications to understanding how the brain functions and regulates its blood supply as well as what happens to this homeostasis in patients with various disorders.