UCL Centre for Medical Image Computing


Lisa Ronan & Sean Epstein - CMIC/WEISS Joint Seminar Series

01 December 2021, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Lisa Ronan & Sean Epstein - talks as part of CMIC/WEISS Joint Seminar Series

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UCL Centre for Medical Image Computing and Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences

Speaker: Lisa Ronan

Title: How does the brain get it’s shape?


Cortical folding (also known as gyrification) is not a random process. Instead, the folds that develop are synonymous with the functional organization of the cortex, and form patterns that are remarkably consistent across individuals and even some species. How this happens is not well understood. Although many developmental features and evolutionary adaptations have been proposed as the primary cause of gyrencephaly, it is not evident that gyrification is reducible in this way. In recent years we have greatly increased our understanding of the multiple factors that influence cortical folding – from the action of genes in health and disease, to evolutionary adaptations that characterize distinctions between gyrencephalic and lissencephalic species. Nonetheless, it is unclear how these factors which influence events at a small scale synthesize to form the consistent and biologically meaningful large-scale features of sulci and gyri.

In this talk I will review various theories of cortical gyrification and demonstrate empirical evidence that links the tangential expansion of the cortex to the pattern-specificity of folds and the functional organisation of the cortex. 

Speaker: Sean Epstein

Title: Task-driven assessment of experimental designs in diffusion MRI


Quantitative MRI (qMRI) uses carefully selected biomarkers to non-invasively probe tissue properties. Traditionally, qMRI experiments have been designed to maximise the accuracy and precision of these biomarkers. In this talk I argue that this may not always be the optimal approach. I will describe some recent proof-of-concept work that, in contrast to traditional methods, explicitly assesses experiments on their clinical utility (‘task performance’). This approach produces qMRI experiments which, despite giving reduced insight into tissue properties, are more clinically useful.



Chair: Baris Kanber