Close to 30 researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and the VA Pittsburgh Health System are interested in harnessing MEG as a powerful tool to learn about cognitive brain functions. MEG ‘s excellent time course, on the order of a millisecond, coupled with its spatial resolution (appx. 2-3 mm for cerebral cortex) enables one to map the temporal order of brain activations during a task. For example, in an aurally delivered language task, one can determine activity in the auditory areas associated with having heard the sound of the word, following which language related activities will be present, a few hundred milliseconds later, in well-documented language related regions such as Wernicke’s and Broca’s area.
MEG can offer even more perspective on cognitive function, because it necessarily records the oscillatory activity of the brain. Utilizing the oscillation frequencies recorded in the different brain regions, researchers are able to assess the synchronicity of different areas of the brain. If neurons in two or more different brain areas are synchronously oscillating at the same frequency, this is an indicator of coherence between these two regions, meaning that they may be working together and communicating to accomplish the stimulus processing task. Oscillation activity has been shown to vary in different participant populations as well, so analyzing this aspect of MEG provides the hope that we may be able to one day elucidate early markers for conditions such as autism and Alzheimer’s.
Furthermore, there is a highly active vein of research into analysis and statistical techniques that will improve the results from studies such as those above, as well as provide yet another point with which to view the MEG data. For example, faculty and students in the Machine Learning department at Carnegie Mellon are able to use their algorithms to predict the stimulus that a participant saw that generated the MEG data. If they presented words of different categories, their algorithm can tease apart the collected MEG data to accurately guess from which category the word came from.
Pittsburgh researchers are utilizing the UPMC Brain Mapping Center for all these exciting lines of research, and many more! If you are interested in getting involved in MEG research, either as a participant or an experimenter, please see How To Get Involved(link to other page). Here you will find information on our MEG Special Interest Group meetings, our MEG Seed Fund pilot grant opportunity, and websites where you can find more information. Current research use charges are $500 per hour and $250 for each additional half-hour, with a firm 6-minute grace period before being charged for the next half-hour..
Magnetoencephalography Studies of Language Representation in the Brain
PI: Tom Mitchell, PhD, CMU
Co-Investigator: Gus Sudre, CMU
Multimodal Imaging of Neurovascular Coupling (MEG & NIRS)
PI: Ted Huppert, PhD, UPMC
Human Upper Extremity Allotransplantation
PI: W.P. Andrew Lee, MD, UPMC
Co-Investigator: Anto Bagic, MD, MSc, UPMC; Vijay Gorantla, MD, UPMC
A Magnetoencephalographic Profile of the Concussed Athlete
PI: Matthew J. Tormenti, MD, UPMC
Co-Investigator: Don Krieger, PhD, UPMC
Developmental Studies of Frontal Lobe Physiology During Late Childhood and Adolescence Using fMRI & MEG
PI: Bea Luna, PhD, University of Pittsburgh
Co-Investigator: Kai Hwang, University of Pittsburgh
Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center MEG Study
PI: Jim Becker, MD, UPMC
Co-Investigator: Melissa Fabrizio, UPMC
Physiological and Neural Basis of Visual Expertise
PI: Chris D’Lauro, PhD, CMU; Ajay Niranjan, MD, UPMC
Assessment of Mild Cognitive Impairment using Magnetoencephalography
PI: M. McNeil, PhD, VA Hospital
Co-Investigator: Wiltrud Fassbinder, PhD
Assessment of Spinal Cord Injuries
PI: M. Bonniger, MD, UPMC
Co-Investigator: Jen Collinger, UPMC
Psychological and Neural Bases of Spatial Cognition
PI: Marlene Behrmann, PhD, CMU
Co-Investigator: Linda Moya, CMU
Electrophysiological Studies of Auditory Cognition (Speech)
PI: Lori L. Holt, PhD, CMU
Co-Investigator: Erika J.C. Laing, MS, UPMC; Ran Liu, CMU
Studies of the Utility of MEG Imaging in HIV/AIDS
PI: Jim Becker, MD, UPMC
Co-Investigator: Melissa Fabrizio, UPMC
Electrophysiological Studies of Musical Cognition
PI: Richard Randall, PhD, CMU; Anto Bagic, MD, MSc, UPMC
Sudre, G., Wang, W., Song, T., Kajola, M., Vinjamuri, R., Collinger, J., Degenhart, A., Bagic, A., & Weber, D.J. (2010). rtMEG: A Real-time Software Toolbox for Brain-machine Interfaces Using Magnetoencephelography. Proceedings of the International Conference in Biomagnetism, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Sudre, G., Xu, Y., Kass, R., Weber, D., & Wang, W. (2010). Cluster-based algorithm for ROI analysis and cognitive state decoding using single- trial source MEG data. Proceedings of the International Conference in Biomagnetism, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Wang, W., Sudre, G.P., Kass, R.E., Xu, Y., Collinger, J.L., Degenhart, A.D., Bagic, A.I., & Weber, D.J. (2010). Decoding and cortical source localization for intended movement direction with MEG. Journal of Neurophysiology.
Wang, J., & Eddy, W.F. (2010). PRFFT: A Fast Algorithm of Sliding-window DFT with Parallel Structure. Proceedings 2nd ICSPS, IEEE, V2-355-V2-359.
Kanal, E., Ozkurt, Y., Sclabassi, R.J., & Sun, M. (2009). Detecting granger causality in the corticostriatal learning and rewards network using MEG. Proceedings of the IEEE 35th Annual Bioengineering Conference, Boston, MA, USA.
Ozkurt, T.E., Sun, M., Jia, W., & Sclabassi, R.J. (2009). Spatial filtering of MEG signals for user-specified spherical regions. IEEE Biomedical Engineering, 56:10, 2429-2438.
Wang, J., Woods, B., & Eddy, W.F. (2009). MEG, RFFTs, and the Hunt for High Frequency Oscillations. Proceedings, 1st ICSPS, IEEE, 1-5.
Wenyan, J., Guizhi, X., Sclabassi, R.J., Zhu, J., Bagic, A., & Sun, M. (2008). Detection of magnetic nanoparticles with magnetoencephalography. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 320, 1472-1478.
Wenyan, J., Sclabassi, R.J., Kanal, E., Ozkurt, T., Scheuer, M.L., & Sun, M. (2006). An intelligent user interface system for diagnosis of epilepsy. Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference, Easton, PA, USA.
Becker, J., Sudre, G., Fabrizio, M., Parkkonen, L., Haridis, A., Wolk, D., & Bagic, A. (2010). Utilization of Magnetoencephalography for the Detection of Central Nervous System Dysfunction in HIV Disease. Proceedings of the International Conference in Biomagnetism 2010, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Sudre, G., Pomerleau, D., Palatucci, M., Bagic, A., & Mitchell, T. (2010). Decoding object representation using magnetoencephalography. Proceedings of the International Conference in Biomagnetism 2010, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Zivkovic, S., Sudre, G., Hendrickson, R., & Bagic, A. (2010). Motor performance of ALS patients during isometric contraction. Proceedings of the International Conference in Biomagnetism 2010, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Kanal, E.Y., Ozkurt, T.E., Sun, Mingui, & Sclabassi, R.J. (2009). Detecting functional corticostriatal Granger-Causal rewards pathways during a gambling task using magnetoencephalography. Poster session presented at Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, IL, USA.
Laing, E. J. C., Holt, L. L., & Bagic, A. (2009). Investigation of the neural bases of context-dependent speech categorization. Poster session presented at the 158th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, San Antonio, TX, USA.
Pan, J., Sudre, G., Palatucci, M., Gaunt, R., Wang, W., Pomerleau, D., & Mitchell, T. (2009). Decoding Cognitive State using Magnetoencephalography. Poster presented at Biomedical Engineering Society, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Sudre, G., Pomerleau, D., Gaunt, R., Weber, D., Wang, W., & Mitchell, T. (2009). MEG analysis of spatiotemporal activation in semantic-representation task. Poster presented at Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, IL, USA.
Voortman, M., Dash, D., Druzdzel, M.J., Pomerleau, D., & Sudre, G. (2009) Difference-Based Causal Models: Bridging the gap between Granger causality and DCMs. Poster presented at the NIPS 2009 Workshop on Connectivity Inference in Neuroimaging, Whistler, B.C., Canada.
Zivkovic, S.A., Hendrickson, R., Sudre, G., & Bagic, A. (2009). Profiles of neuromagnetic activity and cognitive function in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Poster presented at American Academy of Neurology, Seattle, WA, USA.
Sudre, G., Degenhart, A., Collinger, J., Weber, D., & Wang, W. (2008). Modulation of MEG signals during overt and imagined wrist movement for brain-computer interfaces. Poster presented at Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C., USA.
Zhang, J., Sudre, G., Li, X., Wang, W., Weber, D., Paramesh, J., & Fedder, G. (2008). A doubly regularized support vector machine for automatic channel selection of brain computer interface. Poster presented at Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C., USA.
Sudre, G., Degenhart, A., Collinger, J., Weber, D., & Wang, W., (2008). MEG analysis of motor-related brain activity during overt and imagined wrist movement. Poster presented at Biomedical Engineering Society, St. Louis, MO, USA.
Hassel, S., Bagic, A., Frank, E., Novelli, M., Gilbert, A., Haridis, A., Kupfer, D.J., & Phillips, M.L. (2008) Using magnetoencephalography to investigate patterns of neural responses in major depressive behavior. Poster session presented at the biannual international conference on Biomagnetism 2008, Sapporo, Japan.
Liu, Y., Taylor, E.J.C.L., Bagic, A., & Perfetti, C.A. (2008). Similarities and differences between Chinese and English word processing unveiled by MEG. Poster session presented at the biannual international conference on Biomagnetism 2008, Sapporo, Japan.
Taylor, E.J.C.L., Holt, L.L., & Bagic, A. (2008). A MEG study of the neural basis of context-dependent speech categorization. Poster session presented at the biannual international conference on Biomagnetism 2008, Sapporo, Japan.
Jinyin Zhang, Xin Li,& Gustavo Sudre. Winners of BIOMAG 2010 data analysis competition on multivariate classification.
Erika J C Laing Taylor. Winner of BIOMAG 2008 Young Investigators Award for “A MEG study of the neural basis of context-dependent speech categorization.”
Lori L Holt & Erika J C Laing Taylor. Virgina W. Toomey Grant in Auditory Science, Small Pilot Grant, "The Neural Basis of Speech Perception", 12/07-12/08.