Breakfast & Science Seminar 8

We are pleased to invite you to the eighth of the regular CIBM Breakfast & Science Seminar series for 2020 (every last Tuesday of the month):

Date and time: Tuesday September 29th, 2020 – 9:00 to 10:30 CEST

Location: Online seminar


  • 9:00-9:30: “Decoupling of brain function from structure reveals regional behavioral specialization in humans”, by Maria Giulia Preti, Research Staff Scientist, CIBM SP EPFL-UNIGE Section

    How brain activity is shaped by the underlying brain structure is a complex question still lacking a clear answer. Advanced and non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques –such as functional and diffusion MRI– provides us with unique information about both functional and structural connectivity, respectively. However, the degree to which brain structure limits brain function is hard to quantify. 

    Here, we introduced a structural-decoupling index, quantifying the structure-function relationship, its spatial distribution and its behavioral relevance in the healthy human brain. This index was defined within the framework of graph signal processing, where the structural connectome, obtained by diffusion MRI-based tractographic reconstruction of white matter fibers, serves as graph, while resting-state functional MRI activity recorded at each brain region represents a time-varying signal.  The structural-decoupling index, defined at each area, indicates the degree to which the functional signal detaches from the anatomical backbone underneath.

    We discovered that the strength of function-structure coupling spatially varies throughout the healthy brain with a specific gradient going from areas related to lower-level functions (sensory, motor) to regions corresponding to higher-level ones (e.g., memory, reward, emotions). In particular, the activity in primary sensory regions (e.g., visual, auditory, motor) was more strongly coupled with brain structure, while higher-level regions, such as the parietal lobe, which is part of the executive control network, the temporal lobe, including the amygdala and language areas, and orbitofrontal lobes showed a functional activity more independent from the structure.

    The existence of this macroscale gradient of function-structure coupling, showed here for the first time, appears in line with evidence from other modalities, reporting a similar hierarchy for functional connectivity, temporal hierarchy and microstructural properties. The methodology opens new avenues of research to investigate differences of coupling over time or experimental conditions, and alterations due to neurological disease and disorder.

  • 9:30-10:00: “In Vivo Ultrahigh Field Magnetic Resonance Imaging Using Dielectrically-Shortened Dipole Antennas: The Impact of Quasi-Transverse Dielectric Modes on Transmit Field Distribution and Efficiency”, by Daniel WenzResearch Staff Scientist, CIBM MRI EPFL Section

    Dipole antennas play critical role in ultrahigh field magnetic resonance imaging (UHF-MRI). They provide high transmit field efficiency in deeper-located regions of human body and support curl-free current patterns which contribute to ultimate intrinsic signal-to-noise-ratio. However, straight dipole antennas are too long for most of MR applications (50 cm in free space). Rectangular dielectric blocks are often used to shorten dipole antennas in but their influence on antenna performance has not been thoroughly studied excluding the special case when perfect direct contact between the block and the subject was achieved. Yet, the lack of such contact is typically expected in clinical settings. This study demonstrates for the first time why different types of dielectrically-shortened dipole antennas can produce (in)efficient transmit field in an in vivo UHF-MRI experiment, and how antenna performance depends on rectangular block geometry, dielectric permittivity and subject/antenna physical separation. Two main types of quasi-transverse dielectric modes were found in different rectangular block geometry and interpreted as (MR-efficient) and (MR-inefficient) and their impact on in vivo MRI experiments involving human head, calf and wrist was investigated.

  • 10:00-10:30: CIBM News and Updates 

Please register by Monday September 28, 2020, 12:00 at the following link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Breakfast & Science seminars


29 Sep 2020


9:00 am - 10:30 pm



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