Halftime seminar by Bushra Riaz: “MEG-based experimental studies and simulations of functional networks in Arousal response and Autism Spectrum Disorders”

On 19 January, Bushra Riaz is giving her half-time seminar with the title “MEG-based experimental studies and simulations of functional networks in Arousal response and Autism Spectrum Disorders”.

Where? MedTech West Conference Room, Röda stråket 10B, Sahlgrenska University Hospital
When? 14-16 pm. on Thursday 19 January, 2017

Main supervisor: Justin Schneiderman
Co-supervisor: Mikael Elam

Abstract
The focus of my PhD studies is MEG-based functional neural mechanisms in the brain and their relationship to “Arousal response” and Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). MEG allows direct registration of neural activity with millisecond precision.  Unlike electrical activity, magnetic fields of the brain are not affected by conducting tissues (cerebro-spinal fluid, skull and scalp), and thus allows for more precise localization of the sources of neural activity than is possible with electroencephalography. Thus, MEG combines high temporal (<1 ms) with moderate spatial (1 cm or less) resolution and is currently one of the most promising non-invasive techniques used to investigate brain activity—and functional neural-mechanisms in particular—in man. Recent developments towards a principally new MEG system based on high critical-temperature SQUIDs indicate further improvement in spatial resolution is possible, thereby providing a richer description of functional neural-mechanisms in the healthy and diseased brain.

This work is comprised of three activities:
1. “Arousal response”: Experimental MEG investigations to understand the neural mechanisms and networks involved in modulating individual’s response to arousing stimuli as a non-invasive biomarker in identifying their risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
2. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD): Experimental MEG investigations of ASD-related neural abnormalities in functional brain networks, with particular emphasis on brain connectivity ‘at rest’ and impaired emotion processing in viewing faces.
3. Next Generation MEG: Theoretical investigations of realistic designs for next generation MEG systems with improved information content that can lead to more robust and quantitative descriptions of functional brain networks.
As such, the aim is to combine theoretical and experimental investigations of functional neural networks that are generally relevant to clinical and neuroscience research and particularly relevant to our studies of Arousal response and ASD.