By Chelsea Stockton
University News Service
July 29, 2009
Larry R. Price, professor in the College of Education at Texas State University-San Marcos, will be a guest speaker along with Angela R. Laird from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio at the American Psychological Association International Meeting in Toronto, Canada Aug. 6-9.
The symposium topic will be Methodological Advances in Functional Neuroimaging: A State of the Science.
Human functional neuroimaging is an experimental discipline that establishes structure-function correspondences in the brain through the combined application of experimental psychology, human neuroscience and non-invasive neuroimaging.
The overall aim of functional brain “mapping” is to determine how and where various cognitive and perceptual processes are controlled in the human brain. Neuroscientists use Positron Emission Tomography and Functional Magnetic Imaging to detect neural activity that occurs in various regions across the brain through metabolic and blood-oxygenation measures.
During data acquisition, the brain is repeatedly imaged while the subject is presented with a stimuli/task. Spatial variations in the signal intensity across the neuroimages reflect the differences in brain activity throughout the performance. Statistical analysis of the data attempts to find relationships between the location of activated brain regions and the specific aspect of the brain function being manipulated by the stimuli or task.
The first portion of the conference will be an overview of current functional neuroimaging techniques for data acquisition and common experimental design protocols; the second segment will be dedicated to describing the current analytic challenges existing in the field and the associated statistical strategies advancing to meet those challenges.