Honors & Awards
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation (April 2014)
Bioengineering Fellowship Award, Stanford University (September 2012)
Education & Certifications
Master of Science, Stanford University, Bioengineering (2014)
Medical Imaging, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Ultra-High Field MRI (7 Tesla)
Sr. Neuroimaging Research Assistant, Stanford University School of Medicine (2009 - Present)
Imaging Research Associate, Perceptive Informatics (2007 - 2008)
Undergraduate Researcher, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School (2006 - 2007)
Tissue Imaging /Engineering Laboratory at Brigham & Women's Hospital, Department of Radiology
Research Advisor: Dr. Seung-Schik Yoo
Brain Function Differences in Children With Type 1 Diabetes: An fMRI Study of Working Memory.
Glucose is a primary fuel source to the brain, yet the influence of dysglycemia on neurodevelopment in children with type 1 diabetes remains unclear. We examined brain activation using functional MRI in 80 children with type 1 diabetes (mean age ± SD, 11.5±1.8 years; 46% female) and 47 children without diabetes ("control", mean age 11.8±1.5 years; 51% female) as they performed a visuospatial working memory (N-back) task. Results indicated that in both groups, activation scaled positively with increasing working memory load across many areas, including the frontoparietal cortex, caudate and cerebellum. Between groups, children with diabetes exhibited reduced performance on the N-back task relative to control children, as well as greater modulation of activation (i.e., showed greater a increase in activation with higher working memory load). Post-hoc analyses indicated that greater modulation was associated in the diabetes group with better working memory function and with an earlier age of diagnosis. These findings suggest that increased modulation may occur as a compensatory mechanism, helping in part to preserve working memory ability, and further, that children with an earlier onset require additional compensation. Future studies that test whether these patterns change as a function of improved glycemic control are warranted.
View details for DOI 10.2337/db20-0123
View details for PubMedID 32471809
Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) detects increased activation of the brain frontal-parietal network in youth with type 1 diabetes.
When considered as a group, children with type 1 diabetes have subtle cognitive deficits relative to neurotypical controls. However, the neural correlates of these differences remain poorly understood. Using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), we investigated the brain functional activations of young adolescents (19 individuals with type 1 diabetes, 18 healthy controls, ages 8-16 years) during a Go/No-Go response inhibition task. Both cohorts had the same performance on the task, but the individuals with type 1 diabetes subjects had higher activations in a frontal-parietal network including the bilateral supramarginal gyri and bilateral rostrolateral prefrontal cortices. The activations in these regions were positively correlated with fewer parent-reported conduct problems (i.e. lower Conduct Problem scores) on the BASC-2 behavioral assessment. Lower Conduct Problem scores are characteristic of less rule-breaking behavior suggesting a link between this brain network and better self-control. These findings are consistent with a large functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study of children with type 1 diabetes using completely different participants. Perhaps surprisingly, the between-group activation results from fNIRS were statistically stronger than the results using fMRI. This pilot study is the first fNIRS investigation of executive function for individuals with type 1 diabetes. The results suggest that fNIRS is a promising functional neuroimaging resource for detecting the brain correlates of behavior in the pediatric clinic. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
View details for DOI 10.1111/pedi.12992
View details for PubMedID 32003523
Executive task-based brain function in children with type 1 diabetes: An observational study.
2019; 16 (12): e1002979
BACKGROUND: Optimal glycemic control is particularly difficult to achieve in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D), yet the influence of dysglycemia on the developing brain remains poorly understood.METHODS AND FINDINGS: Using a large multi-site study framework, we investigated activation patterns using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 93 children with T1D (mean age 11.5 ± 1.8 years; 45.2% female) and 57 non-diabetic (control) children (mean age 11.8 ± 1.5 years; 50.9% female) as they performed an executive function paradigm, the go/no-go task. Children underwent scanning and cognitive and clinical assessment at 1 of 5 different sites. Group differences in activation occurring during the contrast of "no-go > go" were examined while controlling for age, sex, and scan site. Results indicated that, despite equivalent task performance between the 2 groups, children with T1D exhibited increased activation in executive control regions (e.g., dorsolateral prefrontal and supramarginal gyri; p = 0.010) and reduced suppression of activation in the posterior node of the default mode network (DMN; p = 0.006). Secondary analyses indicated associations between activation patterns and behavior and clinical disease course. Greater hyperactivation in executive control regions in the T1D group was correlated with improved task performance (as indexed by shorter response times to correct "go" trials; r = -0.36, 95% CI -0.53 to -0.16, p < 0.001) and with better parent-reported measures of executive functioning (r values < -0.29, 95% CIs -0.47 to -0.08, p-values < 0.007). Increased deficits in deactivation of the posterior DMN in the T1D group were correlated with an earlier age of T1D onset (r = -0.22, 95% CI -0.41 to -0.02, p = 0.033). Finally, exploratory analyses indicated that among children with T1D (but not control children), more severe impairments in deactivation of the DMN were associated with greater increases in hyperactivation of executive control regions (T1D: r = 0.284, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.46, p = 0.006; control: r = 0.108, 95% CI -0.16 to 0.36, p = 0.423). A limitation to this study involves glycemic effects on brain function; because blood glucose was not clamped prior to or during scanning, future studies are needed to assess the influence of acute versus chronic dysglycemia on our reported findings. In addition, the mechanisms underlying T1D-associated alterations in activation are unknown.CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that increased recruitment of executive control areas in pediatric T1D may act to offset diabetes-related impairments in the DMN, ultimately facilitating cognitive and behavioral performance levels that are equivalent to that of non-diabetic controls. Future studies that examine whether these patterns change as a function of improved glycemic control are warranted.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002979
View details for PubMedID 31815939
Neuroanatomical abnormalities in fragile X syndrome during the adolescent and young adult years.
Journal of psychiatric research
2018; 107: 138–44
Abnormal brain development and cognitive dysfunction have been reported both in children and in adults with fragile X syndrome (FXS). However, few studies have examined neuroanatomical abnormalities in FXS during adolescence. In this study we focus on adolescent subjects with FXS (N = 54) as compared to age- and sex-matched subjects with idiopathic intellectual disability (Comparison Group) (N = 32), to examine neuroanatomical differences during this developmental period. Brain structure was assessed with voxel-based morphometry and independent groups t-test in SPM8 software. Results showed that the FXS group, relative to the comparison group, had significantly larger gray matter volume (GMV) in only one region: the bilateral caudate nucleus, but have smaller GMV in several regions including bilateral medial frontal, pregenual cingulate, gyrus rectus, insula, and superior temporal gyrus. Group differences also were noted in white matter regions. Within the FXS group, lower FMRP levels were associated with less GMV in several regions including cerebellum and gyrus rectus, and less white matter volume (WMV) in pregenual cingulate, middle frontal gyrus, and other regions. Lower full scale IQ within the FXS group was associated with larger right caudate nucleus GMV. In conclusion, adolescents and young adults with FXS demonstrate neuroanatomical abnormalities consistent with those previously reported in children and adults with FXS. These brain variations likely result from reduced FMRP during early neurodevelopment and mediate downstream deleterious effects on cognitive function.
View details for PubMedID 30408626
Impact of Early Diabetic Ketoacidosis on the Developing Brain.
This study examined whether a history of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is associated with changes in longitudinal cognitive and brain development in young children with type 1 diabetes.Cognitive and brain imaging data were analyzed from 144 children with type 1 diabetes, ages 4 to <10 years, who participated in an observational study of the Diabetes Research in Children Network (DirecNet). Participants were grouped according to history of DKA severity (none/mild or moderate/severe). Each participant had unsedated MRI scans and cognitive testing at baseline and 18 months.In 48 of 51 subjects, the DKA event occurred at the time of onset, at an average of 2.9 years before study entry. The moderate/severe DKA group gained more total and regional white and gray matter volume over the observed 18 months compared with the none/mild group. When matched by age at time of enrollment and average HbA1c during the 18-month interval, participants who had a history of moderate/severe DKA compared with none/mild DKA were observed to have significantly lower Full Scale Intelligence Quotient scores, cognitive performance on the Detectability and Commission subtests of the Conners' Continuous Performance Test II, and the Dot Locations subtest of the Children's Memory Scale.A single episode of moderate/severe DKA in young children at diagnosis is associated with lower cognitive scores and altered brain growth. Further studies are needed to assess whether earlier diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and prevention of DKA may reduce the long-term effect of ketoacidosis on the developing brain.
View details for DOI 10.2337/dc18-1405
View details for PubMedID 30573652
Longitudinal Evaluation of Cognitive Functioning in Young Children with Type 1 Diabetes over 18 Months.
Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
2016; 22 (3): 293-302
Decrements in cognitive function may already be evident in young children with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Here we report prospectively acquired cognitive results over 18 months in a large cohort of young children with and without T1D.A total of 144 children with T1D (mean HbA1c: 7.9%) and 70 age-matched healthy controls (mean age both groups 8.5 years; median diabetes duration 3.9 years; mean age of onset 4.1 years) underwent neuropsychological testing at baseline and after 18-months of follow-up. We hypothesized that group differences observed at baseline would be more pronounced after 18 months, particularly in those T1D patients with greatest exposure to glycemic extremes.Cognitive domain scores did not differ between groups at the 18 month testing session and did not change differently between groups over the follow-up period. However, within the T1D group, a history of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) was correlated with lower Verbal IQ and greater hyperglycemia exposure (HbA1c area under the curve) was inversely correlated to executive functions test performance. In addition, those with a history of both types of exposure performed most poorly on measures of executive function.The subtle cognitive differences between T1D children and nondiabetic controls observed at baseline were not observed 18 months later. Within the T1D group, as at baseline, relationships between cognition (Verbal IQ and executive functions) and glycemic variables (chronic hyperglycemia and DKA history) were evident. Continued longitudinal study of this T1D cohort and their carefully matched healthy comparison group is planned.
View details for DOI 10.1017/S1355617715001289
View details for PubMedID 26786245
Persistently high glucose levels in young children with type 1 diabetes
2016; 17 (2): 93-100
The aim of the study was to characterize glucose levels and variability in young children with type 1 diabetes (T1D).A total of 144 children of 4-10 yr old diagnosed with T1D prior to age 8 were recruited at five DirecNet centers. Participants used a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) every 3 months during an 18-month study. Among the 144 participants, 135 (mean age 7.0 yr, 47% female) had a minimum of 48 h of CGM data at more than five of seven visits and were included in analyses. CGM metrics for different times of day were analyzed.Mean hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) at the beginning and end of the study was 7.9% (63 mmol/mol). Fifty percent of participants had glucose levels >180 mg/dL (10.0 mmol/L) for >12 h/d and >250 mg/dL (13.9 mmol/L) for >6 h/d. Median time <70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) was 66 min/d and <60 mg/dL (3.3 mmol/L) was 39 min/d. Mean amplitude of glycemic excursions (MAGE) was lowest overnight (00:00-06:00 hours). The percent of CGM values 71-180 mg/dL (3.9-10.0 mmol/L) and the overall mean glucose correlated with HbA1c at all visits. There were no differences in CGM mean glucose or coefficient of variation between the age groups of 4 and <6, 6 and <8, and 8 and <10.Suboptimal glycemic control is common in young children with T1D as reflected by glucose levels in the hyperglycemic range for much of the day. New approaches to reduce postprandial glycemic excursions and increase time in the normal range for glucose in young children with T1D are critically needed. Glycemic targets in this age range should be revisited.
View details for DOI 10.1111/pedi.12248
View details for Web of Science ID 000369730400003
View details for PubMedID 25496062
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4465416
Variations in Brain Volume and Growth in Young Children With Type 1 Diabetes.
2016; 65 (2): 476-485
Early-onset type 1 diabetes may affect the developing brain during a critical window of rapid brain maturation. Structural MRI was performed on 141 children with diabetes (4-10 years of age at study entry) and 69 age-matched control subjects at two time points spaced 18 months apart. For the children with diabetes, the mean (±SD) HbA1c level was 7.9 ± 0.9% (63 ± 9.8 mmol/mol) at both time points. Relative to control subjects, children with diabetes had significantly less growth of cortical gray matter volume and cortical surface area and significantly less growth of white matter volume throughout the cortex and cerebellum. For the population with diabetes, the change in the blood glucose level at the time of scan across longitudinal time points was negatively correlated with the change in gray and white matter volumes, suggesting that fluctuating glucose levels in children with diabetes may be associated with corresponding fluctuations in brain volume. In addition, measures of hyperglycemia and glycemic variation were significantly negatively correlated with the development of surface curvature. These results demonstrate that early-onset type 1 diabetes has widespread effects on the growth of gray and white matter in children whose blood glucose levels are well within the current treatment guidelines for the management of diabetes.
View details for DOI 10.2337/db15-1242
View details for PubMedID 26512024
Longitudinal Assessment of Neuroanatomical and Cognitive Differences in Young Children With Type 1 Diabetes: Association With Hyperglycemia
2015; 64 (5): 1770-1779
Significant regional differences in gray and white matter volume and subtle cognitive differences between young diabetic and nondiabetic children have been observed. Here, we assessed whether these differences change over time and the relation with dysglycemia. Children ages 4 to <10 years with (n = 144) and without (n = 72) type 1 diabetes (T1D) had high-resolution structural MRI and comprehensive neurocognitive tests at baseline and 18 months and continuous glucose monitoring and HbA1c performed quarterly for 18 months. There were no differences in cognitive and executive function scores between groups at 18 months. However, children with diabetes had slower total gray and white matter growth than control subjects. Gray matter regions (left precuneus, right temporal, frontal, and parietal lobes and right medial-frontal cortex) showed lesser growth in diabetes, as did white matter areas (splenium of the corpus callosum, bilateral superior-parietal lobe, bilateral anterior forceps, and inferior-frontal fasciculus). These changes were associated with higher cumulative hyperglycemia and glucose variability but not with hypoglycemia. Young children with T1D have significant differences in total and regional gray and white matter growth in brain regions involved in complex sensorimotor processing and cognition compared with age-matched control subjects over 18 months, suggesting that chronic hyperglycemia may be detrimental to the developing brain.
View details for DOI 10.2337/db14-1445
View details for PubMedID 25488901
Influence of the x-chromosome on neuroanatomy: evidence from turner and klinefelter syndromes.
journal of neuroscience
2014; 34 (10): 3509-3516
Studies of sex effects on neurodevelopment have traditionally focused on animal models investigating hormonal influences on brain anatomy. However, more recent evidence suggests that sex chromosomes may also have direct upstream effects that act independently of hormones. Sex chromosome aneuploidies provide ideal models to examine this framework in humans, including Turner syndrome (TS), where females are missing one X-chromosome (45X), and Klinefelter syndrome (KS), where males have an additional X-chromosome (47XXY). As these disorders essentially represent copy number variants of the sex chromosomes, investigation of brain structure across these disorders allows us to determine whether sex chromosome gene dosage effects exist. We used voxel-based morphometry to investigate this hypothesis in a large sample of children in early puberty, to compare regional gray matter volumes among individuals with one (45X), two (typically developing 46XX females and 46XY males), and three (47XXY) sex chromosomes. Between-group contrasts of TS and KS groups relative to respective sex-matched controls demonstrated highly convergent patterns of volumetric differences with the presence of an additional sex chromosome being associated with relatively decreased parieto-occipital gray matter volume and relatively increased temporo-insular gray matter volumes. Furthermore, z-score map comparisons between TS and KS cohorts also suggested that this effect occurs in a linear dose-dependent fashion. We infer that sex chromosome gene expression directly influences brain structure in children during early stages of puberty, extending our understanding of genotype-phenotype mechanisms underlying sex differences in the brain.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2790-13.2014
View details for PubMedID 24599451
High success rates of sedation-free brain MRI scanning in young children using simple subject preparation protocols with and without a commercial mock scanner-the Diabetes Research in Children Network (DirecNet) experience.
2014; 44 (2): 181-186
The ability to lie still in an MRI scanner is essential for obtaining usable image data. To reduce motion, young children are often sedated, adding significant cost and risk.We assessed the feasibility of using a simple and affordable behavioral desensitization program to yield high-quality brain MRI scans in sedation-free children.222 children (4-9.9 years), 147 with type 1 diabetes and 75 age-matched non-diabetic controls, participated in a multi-site study focused on effects of type 1 diabetes on the developing brain. T1-weighted and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) MRI scans were performed. All children underwent behavioral training and practice MRI sessions using either a commercial MRI simulator or an inexpensive mock scanner consisting of a toy tunnel, vibrating mat, and video player to simulate the sounds and feel of the MRI scanner.205 children (92.3%), mean age 7 ± 1.7 years had high-quality T1-W scans and 174 (78.4%) had high-quality diffusion-weighted scans after the first scan session. With a second scan session, success rates were 100% and 92.5% for T1-and diffusion-weighted scans, respectively. Success rates did not differ between children with type 1 diabetes and children without diabetes, or between centers using a commercial MRI scan simulator and those using the inexpensive mock scanner.Behavioral training can lead to a high success rate for obtaining high-quality T1-and diffusion-weighted brain images from a young population without sedation.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s00247-013-2798-7
View details for PubMedID 24096802
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3946760
- Brain morphology in children with 47,XYY syndrome: a voxel- and surface-based morphometric study. Genes, brain, and behavior 2014; 13 (2): 127-134
Alterations in white matter structure in young children with type 1 diabetes.
2014; 37 (2): 332-340
To investigate whether type 1 diabetes affects white matter (WM) structure in a large sample of young children.Children (ages 4 to <10 years) with type 1 diabetes (n = 127) and age-matched nondiabetic control subjects (n = 67) had diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging scans in this multisite neuroimaging study. Participants with type 1 diabetes were assessed for HbA1c history and lifetime adverse events, and glucose levels were monitored using a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) device and standardized measures of cognition.Between-group analysis showed that children with type 1 diabetes had significantly reduced axial diffusivity (AD) in widespread brain regions compared with control subjects. Within the type 1 diabetes group, earlier onset of diabetes was associated with increased radial diffusivity (RD) and longer duration was associated with reduced AD, reduced RD, and increased fractional anisotropy (FA). In addition, HbA1c values were significantly negatively associated with FA values and were positively associated with RD values in widespread brain regions. Significant associations of AD, RD, and FA were found for CGM measures of hyperglycemia and glucose variability but not for hypoglycemia. Finally, we observed a significant association between WM structure and cognitive ability in children with type 1 diabetes but not in control subjects.These results suggest vulnerability of the developing brain in young children to effects of type 1 diabetes associated with chronic hyperglycemia and glucose variability.
View details for DOI 10.2337/dc13-1388
View details for PubMedID 24319123
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3898758
Brain morphology in children with 47, XYY syndrome: a voxel- and surface-based morphometric study.
Genes, brain, and behavior
2014; 13 (2): 127-134
The neurocognitive and behavioral profile of individuals with 47,XYY is increasingly documented; however, very little is known about the effect of a supernumerary Y-chromosome on brain development. Establishing the neural phenotype associated with 47,XYY may prove valuable in clarifying the role of Y-chromosome gene dosage effects, a potential factor in several neuropsychiatric disorders that show a prevalence bias toward males, including autism spectrum disorders. Here, we investigated brain structure in 10 young boys with 47,XYY and 10 age-matched healthy controls by combining voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and surface-based morphometry (SBM). The VBM results show the existence of altered gray matter volume (GMV) in the insular and parietal regions of 47,XYY relative to controls, changes that were paralleled by extensive modifications in white matter (WM) bilaterally in the frontal and superior parietal lobes. The SBM analyses corroborated these findings and revealed the presence of abnormal surface area and cortical thinning in regions with abnormal GMV and WMV. Overall, these preliminary results demonstrate a significant impact of a supernumerary Y-chromosome on brain development, provide a neural basis for the motor, speech and behavior regulation difficulties associated with 47,XYY and may relate to sexual dimorphism in these areas.
View details for DOI 10.1111/gbb.12107
View details for PubMedID 24308542
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3918511
Neuroanatomical correlates of dysglycemia in young children with type 1 diabetes.
2014; 63 (1): 343-353
Studies of brain structure in type 1 diabetes (T1D) describe widespread neuroanatomical differences related to exposure to glycemic dysregulation in adults and adolescents. In this study, we investigate the neuroanatomical correlates of dysglycemia in very young children with early-onset T1D. Structural magnetic resonance images of the brain were acquired in 142 children with T1D and 68 age-matched control subjects (mean age 7.0 ± 1.7 years) on six identical scanners. Whole-brain volumetric analyses were conducted using voxel-based morphometry to detect regional differences between groups and to investigate correlations between regional brain volumes and measures of glycemic exposure (including data from continuous glucose monitoring). Relative to control subjects, the T1D group displayed decreased gray matter volume (GMV) in bilateral occipital and cerebellar regions (P < 0.001) and increased GMV in the left inferior prefrontal, insula, and temporal pole regions (P = 0.002). Within the T1D group, hyperglycemic exposure was associated with decreased GMV in medial frontal and temporal-occipital regions and increased GMV in lateral prefrontal regions. Cognitive correlations of intelligence quotient to GMV were found in cerebellar-occipital regions and medial prefrontal cortex for control subjects, as expected, but not for the T1D group. Thus, early-onset T1D affects regions of the brain that are associated with typical cognitive development.
View details for DOI 10.2337/db13-0179
View details for PubMedID 24170697
- Introduction to Neuroimaging Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders Comprehensive Guide to Autism 2014
Genomic imprinting effects of the x chromosome on brain morphology.
journal of neuroscience
2013; 33 (19): 8567-8574
There is increasing evidence that genomic imprinting, a process by which certain genes are expressed in a parent-of-origin-specific manner, can influence neurogenetic and psychiatric manifestations. While some data suggest possible imprinting effects of the X chromosome on physical and cognitive characteristics in humans, there is no compelling evidence that X-linked imprinting affects brain morphology. To address this issue, we investigated regional cortical volume, thickness, and surface area in 27 healthy controls and 40 prepubescent girls with Turner syndrome (TS), a condition caused by the absence of one X chromosome. Of the young girls with TS, 23 inherited their X chromosome from their mother (X(m)) and 17 from their father (X(p)). Our results confirm the existence of significant differences in brain morphology between girls with TS and controls, and reveal the presence of a putative imprinting effect among the TS groups: girls with X(p) demonstrated thicker cortex than those with X(m) in the temporal regions bilaterally, while X(m) individuals showed bilateral enlargement of gray matter volume in the superior frontal regions compared with X(p). These data suggest the existence of imprinting effects of the X chromosome that influence both cortical thickness and volume during early brain development, and help to explain variability in cognitive and behavioral manifestations of TS with regard to the parental origin of the X chromosome.
View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5810-12.2013
View details for PubMedID 23658194
White Matter Aberrations in Prepubertal Estrogen-Naive Girls with Monosomic Turner Syndrome
2012; 22 (12): 2761-2768
Turner syndrome (TS) offers a unique opportunity to investigate associations among genes, the brain, and cognitive phenotypes. In this study, we used 3 complementary analyses of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data (whole brain, region of interest, and fiber tractography) and a whole brain volumetric imaging technique to investigate white matter (WM) structure in prepubertal, nonmosaic, estrogen-naive girls with TS compared with age and sex matched typically developing controls. The TS group demonstrated significant WM aberrations in brain regions implicated in visuospatial abilities, face processing, and sensorimotor and social abilities compared with controls. Extensive spatial overlap between regions of aberrant WM structure (from DTI) and regions of aberrant WM volume were observed in TS. Our findings indicate that complete absence of an X chromosome in young females (prior to receiving exogenous estrogen) is associated with WM aberrations in specific regions implicated in characteristic cognitive features of TS.
View details for DOI 10.1093/cercor/bhr355
View details for PubMedID 22172580
Neuroanatomical spatial patterns in Turner syndrome
2011; 55 (2): 439-447
Turner syndrome (TS) is a highly prevalent genetic condition caused by partial or complete absence of one X-chromosome in a female and is associated with a lack of endogenous estrogen during development secondary to gonadal dysgenesis. Prominent cognitive weaknesses in executive and visuospatial functions in the context of normal overall IQ also occur in affected individuals. Previous neuroimaging studies of TS point to a profile of neuroanatomical variation relative to age and sex matched controls. However, there are no neuroimaging studies focusing on young girls with TS before they receive exogenous estrogen treatment to induce puberty. Information obtained from young girls with TS may help to establish an early neural correlate of the cognitive phenotype associated with the disorder. Further, univariate analysis has predominantly been the method of choice in prior neuroimaging studies of TS. Univariate approaches examine between-group differences on the basis of individual image elements (i.e., a single voxel's intensity or the volume of an a priori defined brain region). This is in contrast to multivariate methods that can elucidate complex neuroanatomical profiles in a clinical population by determining the pattern of between-group differences from many image elements evaluated simultaneously. In this case, individual image elements might not be significantly different between groups but can still contribute to a significantly different overall spatial pattern. In this study, voxel-based morphometry (VBM) of high-resolution magnetic resonance images was used to investigate differences in brain morphology between 13 pediatric, pre-estrogen girls with monosomic TS and 13 age-matched typically developing controls (3.0 T imaging: mean age 9.1±2.1). A similar analysis was performed with an older cohort of 13 girls with monosomic TS and 13 age-matched typically developing controls (1.5 T imaging: mean age 15.8±4.5). A multivariate, linear support vector machine analysis using leave-one-out cross-validation was then employed to discriminate girls with TS from typically developing controls based on differences in neuroanatomical spatial patterns and to assess how accurately such patterns translate across heterogeneous cohorts. VBM indicated that both TS cohorts had significantly reduced gray matter volume in the precentral, postcentral, and supramarginal gyri and enlargement of the left middle and superior temporal gyri. Support vector machine (SVM) classifiers achieved high accuracy for discriminating brain morphology patterns in TS from typically developing controls and also displayed spatial patterns consistent with the VBM results. Furthermore, the SVM classifiers identified additional neuroanatomical variations in individuals with TS, localized in the hippocampus, orbitofrontal cortex, insula, caudate, and cuneus. Our results demonstrate robust spatial patterns of altered brain morphology in developmentally dynamic populations with TS, providing further insight into the neuroanatomical correlates of cognitive-behavioral features in this condition.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.12.054
View details for PubMedID 21195197
Neuroimaging-based approaches in the brain-computer interface
TRENDS IN BIOTECHNOLOGY
2010; 28 (11): 552-560
Techniques to enable direct communication between the brain and computers/machines, such as the brain-computer interface (BCI) or the brain-machine interface (BMI), are gaining momentum in the neuroscientific realm, with potential applications ranging from medicine to general consumer electronics. Noninvasive BCI techniques based on neuroimaging modalities are reviewed in terms of their methodological approaches as well as their similarities and differences. Trends in automated data interpretation through machine learning algorithms are also introduced. Applications of functional neuromodulation techniques to BCI systems would allow for bidirectional communication between the brain and the computer. Such bidirectional interfaces can relay information directly from one brain to another using a computer as a medium, ultimately leading to the concept of a brain-to-brain interface (BBI).
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.tibtech.2010.08.002
View details for Web of Science ID 000283703300003
View details for PubMedID 20810180
Automated classification of fMRI data employing trial-based imagery tasks
MEDICAL IMAGE ANALYSIS
2009; 13 (3): 392-404
Automated interpretation and classification of functional MRI (fMRI) data is an emerging research field that enables the characterization of underlying cognitive processes with minimal human intervention. In this work, we present a method for the automated classification of human thoughts reflected on a trial-based paradigm using fMRI with a significantly shortened data acquisition time (less than one minute). Based on our preliminary experience with various cognitive imagery tasks, six characteristic thoughts were chosen as target tasks for the present work: right-hand motor imagery, left-hand motor imagery, right foot motor imagery, mental calculation, internal speech/word generation, and visual imagery. These six tasks were performed by five healthy volunteers and functional images were obtained using a T(*)(2)-weighted echo planar imaging (EPI) sequence. Feature vectors from activation maps, necessary for the classification of neural activity, were automatically extracted from the regions that were consistently and exclusively activated for a given task during the training process. Extracted feature vectors were classified using the support vector machine (SVM) algorithm. Parameter optimization, using a k-fold cross validation scheme, allowed the successful recognition of the six different categories of administered thought tasks with an accuracy of 74.5% (mean)+/-14.3% (standard deviation) across all five subjects. Our proposed study for the automated classification of fMRI data may be utilized in further investigations to monitor/identify human thought processes and their potential link to hardware/computer control.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.media.2009.01.001
View details for Web of Science ID 000267096400002
View details for PubMedID 19233711
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2677137
- Composite MR contrast agents for conditional cell-labeling INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF IMAGING SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGY 2008; 18 (1): 79-84