Functional MRI

Main responsible: Patrick Fisher

At NRU we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify aspects of brain function and connectivity that map onto relevant behavioral and molecular phenotypes and response to pharmacological or other intervention strategies.

We probe genetic and environmental factors that shape individual variability in fMRI measures and which may moderate its relation to behavior or intervention response. Our research includes resting-state fMRI and task-based fMRI including paradigms related to aggression, threat, reward and motor processing.

Data are acquired on MRI scanners located at Rigshospitalet including a 3T Siemens Verio scanner with a 64-channel head coil at the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and a 3T magnet with a 12-channel head coil as part of the Siemens mMR Biograph combined PET-MRI scanner at the Department of Clinical Physiology, Nuclear Medicine & PET. We have streamlined data pre-processing schemes including in-house wrappers of commonly used software tools.

Consistent with the translational research aims of NRU, fMRI data acquisition is integrated into many research projects including healthy and patient human populations. Leveraging a particular strength of NRU, many of our human studies combine the complementary information about brain function that is gained from fMRI and brain chemistry that is gained from PET. Our research goals naturally bring together clinically and analytically oriented perspectives that together facilitate effective use of the rich multimodal neuroimaging datasets to elucidate distributed neural pathways that shape behavior, risk for disease and responsiveness to intervention.

Examples of recent publications:

  • Macoveanu J, Fisher PM, Madsen MK, Mc Mahon B, Knudsen GM, Siebner HR. Bright-light intervention induces a dose-dependent increase in striatal response to risk in healthy volunteers. Neuroimage. 2016 Jun 16;139:37-43
  • Macoveanu J, Henningsson S, Pinborg A, Jensen PS, Knudsen GM, Frokjaer VG, Siebner HR. Sex-Steroid Hormone Manipulation Reduces Brain Response to Reward. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2016 Mar;41(4):1057-65
  • Madsen MK, Mc Mahon B, Andersen SB, Siebner HR, Knudsen GM, Fisher PM. Threat-related amygdala functional connectivity is associated with 5-HTTLPR genotype and neuroticism. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2016 Jan;11(1):140-9
  • Beliveau V, Svarer C, Frokjaer VG, Knudsen GM, Greve DN, Fisher PM. Functional connectivity of the dorsal and median raphe nuclei at rest. Neuroimage. 2015 Aug 1;116:187-95
  • Fisher PM, Grady CL, Madsen MK, Strother SC, Knudsen GM. 5-HTTLPR differentially predicts brain network responses to emotional faces. Hum Brain Mapp. 2015 Jul;36(7):2842-51
  • Fisher PM, Haahr ME, Jensen CG, Frokjaer VG, Siebner HR, Knudsen GM. Fluctuations in [11C]SB207145 PET binding associated with change in threat-related amygdala reactivity in humans. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2015 May;40(6):1510-8
  • Fisher PM, Madsen MK, Mc Mahon B, Holst KK, Andersen SB, Laursen HR, Hasholt LF, Siebner HR, Knudsen GM. Three-week bright-light intervention has dose-related effects on threat-related corticolimbic reactivity and functional coupling. Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Aug 15;76(4):332-9