A very quick post to point you towards a really fantastic set of online, interactive courses on MRI from a website called Imaios.com – a very nice, very slick set of material. The MRI courses are all free, but you’ll need to register to see the animations. Lots of other medical/anatomy-related courses on the site too – some free, some ‘premium’, and some nice looking mobile apps too.
Made for the occasion of the first birthday of Imanova last night, and greedily consumed by slightly hungover scientists this morning.
I’ve come across a couple of more web-links which I thought were important enough to share with you straight away rather than saving them up for a massive splurge of links.
The first is ViperLib, a site which focusses (geddit?) on visual perception and is run by Peter Thompson and Rob Stone of the University of York, with additional input (apparently) from Barry the snake. This is essentially a library of images and movies related to vision science, and currently contains a total of 1850 images – illusions, brain scans, anatomical diagrams, and much more. Registration is required to view the images, but it’s free and easily done, and I would encourage anyone to spend an hour or so of their time poking around amongst the treasures there. I shall be digging through my old hard drives when I get a chance and contributing some optic-flow stimuli from my old vision work to the database.
The second is for the (f)MRI types out there; a fantastic ‘Imaging Knowledge Base’ from the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. The page has a huge range of great information about fMRI design and analysis, from the basics of Matlab, to how to perform ROI analyses, and all presented in a very friendly, introductory format. If you’re just getting started with neuroimaging, this is one of the best resources I’ve seen for beginners.
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) has now become a pretty mainstream activity for researchers interested in the workings of the human brain, and since its inception in the early-90s a whole load of software has been developed which can enable even the most clueless or Unix-averse researcher to (reasonably) easily perform complex analyses on fMRI datasets. I wrote a brief earlier post about fMRI software based on a presentation, and thought I’d expand on it a little more in a future series. There’s obviously a great deal to say about these pieces of software in terms of advanced features, UI etc. and I’ll get to all that at some point in the future. This post will focus on the very basic aspects of three popular choices for fMRI analysis: BrainVoyager, FSL and SPM*; what platforms they support, and the basic features of each. Read the rest of this entry
The iPhone is much more than just a phone – it’s a powerful mobile computing platform which has completely changed the way we interact with our mobile devices. If you’re a student who has one (or an iPod touch, or even an iPad, you lucky, lucky thing) there are many ways you can use it to make your life easier.
Mendeley. If you use Mendeley (and if you’re any kind of student and you don’t use it, or something like it, then you’re basically nuts) then a download of their free app is a must. The app connects to your online library of references and allows you full access to any PDFs you’ve synced to their servers for download and reading. You can sync papers to your library using the desktop version and read them later on your iPhone or iPad. Sweet. And it’s free! Read the rest of this entry
This one’s a bit advanced for the kind of information I generally want to include on here, but I thought it might be useful to somebody, so I’d put it up. I was recently asked to do a talk on fMRI software, so put together a presentation comparing three popular choices for analysing brain imaging data: SPM, BrainVoyager and FSL. I’ve used all three packages in the past for my work, although I’m not so expert with the new versions of SPM as I used to be. The talk was pretty basic, and focussed more on features and the UI experience of the three applications, rather than any technical details.
Anyway, the slides are available for download here (PDF, 3.6Mb) if anyone’s interested. All content is my personal opinion, your mileage may vary, etc. etc.
One of the things that psychology/neuroscience students often find hardest is learning about brain anatomy. Most psychology courses nowadays have some neuroscience element to them, and for beginners unfamiliar nomenclature like ‘ventro-lateral prefrontal cortex’ and ‘rostroventral-medial medulla’ can be (rightly) terrifying. Further confusion can be caused by some papers referring to numbered Brodmann areas, and other papers preferring to use functional descriptions of brain areas, such as ‘motor cortex’ or ‘hMT/V5′. The primary visual cortex in the occipital lobe might be referred to functionally (V1), by Brodmann area (17), anatomically (calcarine sulcus) or cytoarchitectonically (‘striate cortex’).
A lot of this confusion can be cleared up by a bit of basic reading. The wikipedia page on Anatomical Terms of Location is excellent, as is this very clear page specifically on anatomical terms used for the human brain. Brodmann areas are also explained here. Read the rest of this entry