Title: Squeezing Better Brain Juice From fMRI: Toward Cleaner Neural Signals and Ground-Truth-Guided Data Analysis
Date: Jan 29, 2024
Place: UMRAM, SC 106
Summary: fMRI holds promise as a tool for facilitating precision medicine in mental health. Yet, recent work highlights that the ability of fMRI data to explain or predict individual differences in behavior and mental health remains underwhelming. One contributing limitation is that fMRI provides an indirect and noisy means of measuring neural activity – a challenging for extracting neural signal from physiological noise. A second limitation is that fMRI scans yield a vast amount of data that can be analyzed in countless ways – a challenge for how to model neurobiologically meaningful features of the data. In this talk, I will present my work focused on addressing these challenges. First, I will discuss my team’s recent finding of a previously unrecognized physiological artifact that distorts estimates of neural connectivity in fMRI datasets, and our solution for removing it. Second, I will discuss our development of a novel analysis method that leverages “ground-truth” neuroanatomical data to measure more neurobiologically meaningful features of neural circuits. Overall, this talk will summarize progress being made toward optimizing fMRI to be a more powerful tool for understanding the brain and its role in mental health.
Bio: Dr. Cole Korponay is an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He completed his graduate training in 2017 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Neuroscience & Public Policy program, earning a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and a Master’s in Public Affairs. Prior to that, Dr. Korponay completed his undergraduate studies in Cognitive Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Korponay’s research focuses include fMRI methodology, corticostriatal brain circuits, the neurobiology of addiction and impulsive and habitual behaviors, and the intersection of neuroscience with public policy and law. Dr. Korponay is also a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Harvard Department of Psychology.