Magnetic resonance imaging is an important non-invasive medical imaging modality for clinical diagnosis of neurological disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, and for neuroscience and cognitive psychology research. Medical and behavioural science end-users of the technology rely on experimental physicists and hardware engineers to adjust MRI scanners such that the highest quality images are obtained. Traditionally, ‘highest quality’ has meant maximal image intensity contrast. This focus on image intensity alone severely compromises the ability to infer tissue characteristics. Indeed, such is the disregard for quantitative estimation of the underlying tissue composition and geometry that MRI scanners have routinely discarded the phase component of the complex-valued measurements. We apply signal processing and control theory methodology to the problem of understanding the physics, physiology and engineering involved in MRI.
Our research goals are to apply systems engineering approaches to improve, extend and redesign MRI acquisition and analysis techniques for imaging the brain. We are a research laboratory that is jointly within the Florey Neuroscience Institute’s Imaging Division.
Our current reseach projects include:
- susceptibility weighted and phase MRI
- diffusion weighted MRI
- quantitative parameter mapping
- functional MRI and connectivity analysis
- fourier synthesis techniques for pulse excitation design