Goal-Directed Magnetic Resonance Brain Micro Imaging
The Human Brain Project
Caltech Division
General Information
Connectivity Project
Atlas Project
Algorithms Project
Project Images
Connectivity Project
The three individual Projects and four Cores revolve around the development, application, interpretation, and presentation of high resolution multidimensional images of the developing nervous system obtained on several model systems both in vitro and in vivo. The collaborators bring a number of different philosophies and types of expertise: computer graphics, modeling and control theory; mapping brain physiology/function and cortical learning; embryology, cell and molecular biology, and digital optical microscopy; microscopic resolution MRI.

Multi-Modal Imaging and Analysis of Neuronal Connectivity Project [Connectivity Project] 
Scott Fraser and Jerry Solomon 

The goal of this Project is to develop new strategies for collecting data and new computer software capable of melding data of different resolutions, depths, and modality. These developments will be driven by experiments designed to follow the patterning of axons and cell bodies in the developing central nervous system (CNS). Imaging CNS development in intact animals is fraught with difficulties. It requires: 

  • high resolution to follow the fine axonal processes of newly born neurons, 
  • the ability to image deep within tissue where key events take place, and 
  • a wide field of view to put the events into their proper context. 
No single imaging modality offers the combination of attributes required to meet these challenges. Therefore, this Project melds data from different imaging modalities to synthesize the required views into neuronal development. Cells will be labeled with axon tracing agents that are visible by both light and MRI microscopy. Laser scanning confocal microscopy, two-photon microscopy, and MRI microscopy performed on the same labeled cells in the same animals will generate images at progressively greater depths in the specimen, but different resolutions. Jerry Solomon, a new Co-PI on this Project, will spearhead the computational effort to develop and implement hierarchical multi-resolution image matching software to permit the merging of high resolution light microscopy images with low to moderate resolution MRI data. These software tools will be generally useful in all endeavors requiring different imaging modalities, temporal resolution, spatial resolution, and depth of penetration - not unusual circumstances in the neurosciences. The resulting information will offer uniquely integrated views into both the short-range and long-range aspects of neuronal patterning in the developing CNS.