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Montreal functional brain imaging platform

Principal Investigator:
  • Amir Shmuel, McGill University
Team Members:
  • Paul Cisek, Université de Montréal
  • Erik Cook, McGill University
  • Kathleen Cullen, McGill University
  • Numa Dancause, Université de Montréal
  • Julio Martinez-Trujillo, McGill University
  • Christopher Pack, McGill University
  • Michael Petrides, McGill University
  • McGill University, Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital

Project Overview

Dr. Shmuel and his team are establishing a local platform which will support functional MRI (fMRI) in the alert non-human primate brain. The platform will be accessible to any primate researchers in Montreal. The platform, including a rig for training primates, equipment for imaging, and expertise in imaging and data data analysis, will be run by a highly qualified technician. Functional MRI is an excellent tool for visualizing all areas responsive in a task. It’s spatial specificity and resolution is on the order of 1-2 mm. Therefore, it has excellent coverage of the brain while offering a reasonable spatial resolution. However, functional MRI has poor temporal resolution. Guiding neurophysiological recordings based on functional MRI by means of neuronavigation will allow the investigation of neurophysiological activity of single neurons and assemblies of neurons in regions shown to be active during the performance of the studied behavior. In addition, pursuing alert primate fMRI will allow the users group to characterize the network of areas that show changes in neuronal activity associated with the tasks the animal performs. It will therefore enable comprehensive studies of the neuronal correlates of behavior at multi-spatial scales.