Poster Title (Current Submission)

Mapping the lesioned brain (methodological poster)

Major(s)

Biology

Minor(s)

Chemistry, Microbiology

Mentor Name

Daniel Tranel

Mentor Department

Neuroscience, Psychology

Presentation Date

3-25-2010

Abstract

The human brain can be thought of as the orchestrator of the symphony that is your life. When it works well, the output is an incredibly beautiful and complex range of behaviors. But when there are regions of damage, it’s as if one or more instruments are out of tune. If we can determine the dissonant instruments, perhaps we can restore harmony. The Boston Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic can have very different personalities even while playing the same piece. The critic’s challenge is to compare the ‘anatomy’ of a single piece even when it is performed quite differently. Likewise, a challenge for neuroanatomists is to accurately compare two brains while accounting for anatomical differences. I use magnetic resonance image (MRIs) to graphically recreate lesions while maintaining the anatomical fidelity by reorienting a ‘template’ MRI of a healthy brain to match the coordinates of the damaged brain. After mapping the lesion, the template is re-rendered to its normal coordinates. Several maps can then be overlaid to show patterns of brain damage. If a group of patients display a common behavioral deficit and also shares a common region of damage, we can infer a relationship between anatomy and behavior.

Rights

Copyright © 2010 Annie E Tye

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Mar 25th, 12:00 AM

Mapping the lesioned brain (methodological poster)

The human brain can be thought of as the orchestrator of the symphony that is your life. When it works well, the output is an incredibly beautiful and complex range of behaviors. But when there are regions of damage, it’s as if one or more instruments are out of tune. If we can determine the dissonant instruments, perhaps we can restore harmony. The Boston Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic can have very different personalities even while playing the same piece. The critic’s challenge is to compare the ‘anatomy’ of a single piece even when it is performed quite differently. Likewise, a challenge for neuroanatomists is to accurately compare two brains while accounting for anatomical differences. I use magnetic resonance image (MRIs) to graphically recreate lesions while maintaining the anatomical fidelity by reorienting a ‘template’ MRI of a healthy brain to match the coordinates of the damaged brain. After mapping the lesion, the template is re-rendered to its normal coordinates. Several maps can then be overlaid to show patterns of brain damage. If a group of patients display a common behavioral deficit and also shares a common region of damage, we can infer a relationship between anatomy and behavior.