By Peter Bandettini
Episode produced by Rachael Stickland and Anastasia Brovkin
AFNI is a major processing package used by brain mapping groups all over the world. It is nearly as old as fMRI itself and has been steadily growing in functionality as the field has evolved. Here we discuss how it all started as well as a few of the challenges of fMRI processing that have arisen over the years. Importantly, we explore the philosophy underlying a key tenet of AFNI development: the ability for researchers to drill down and look directly at the data. This emphasis on flexibly and efficiently visualizing the data at all processing steps not only guards against problematic data and hidden artifacts but is also a catalyst for new analysis ideas. We discuss a bit of the future of analysis and the bottleneck for clinical implementations.
It’s happened again. Summer (in the Northern hemisphere) has left us, and now we’re left with just memories of the balmier days of 2021. And with that, it’s a good time to reflect on the events of summer—and in particular OHBM2021. This was the second virtual edition of the annual OHBM meeting, with the online-only format offering unique challenges and opportunities.
Considerable planning and effort from many teams of volunteers and OHBM staff members went into the development of the new platform—affectionately dubbed “Planet Brain” by past Chair Aina Puce. Leadership took the higher-risk path to work with a new-to-the-market and, critically, open-source vendor, Sparkle, in hopes of achieving a much more engaging virtual experience that captured more of the true OHBM meeting spirit. But how did you think it went? Here we summarize some results from the two surveys that were sent out, one to annual meeting attendees to gather information about their experience and another to OHBM members, whether they registered for the meeting or not, to find out their views on future meetings. We provide anonymized responses to the Annual Meeting Feedback survey, alternative visualizations, and an environment for their re-analysis at https://emdupre.github.io/ohbm2021-survey-feedback/
By Peter Bandettini
Episode produced by Nils Muhlert and Rachael Stickland
Peter talks to Nikola Stikov, a physicist, engineer and a strong proponent of quantitative and reproducible MRI for further clinical traction and impact. This involves promoting open science, creating shared analysis toolboxes, and fostering data and code sharing across researchers and vendors. As mature as MRI is, we are still just scratching the surface of what information it can provide. Nikola is a gifted and passionate communicator; this conversation touches on his research in using MRI to derive information about cell structure in the brain and the potential uses in understanding brain connectivity as well as pathology. Also discussed is Nikola’s many initiatives regarding open science, dissemination of results, publishing - and how outdated the PDF is, and science outreach.
Nikola Stikov, PhD. Nikola Stikov is a professor of Biomedical Engineering, a researcher at the Montreal Heart Institute, and co-director of NeuroPoly, the Neuroimaging Research Laboratory at Polytechnique Montreal. Dr. Stikov received his Ph.D. degree at Stanford University, working with John Pauly and Dwight Nishimura, then carried out his postdoctoral training with Dr. Bruce Pike at the Montreal Neurological Institute. In 2014, Dr. Stikov was elected Junior Fellow of the ISMRM.
His research spans the gamut of quantitative magnetic resonance imaging, from basic issues of standardization and accuracy, to biophysical modeling, microstructural imaging and clinical applications. His group is particularly interested in developing and validating novel biomarkers for non-invasive characterization of the brain and heart microstructure during development, disease and treatment, thus pushing the boundaries of the emerging field of in vivo histology.
Over the years, he has become active in open science and science communication, founding the MRM Highlights, OHBM Blog, and the Canadian Open Science Platform (CONP). He is also the founder of MRBalkan, a conference series associated with ISMRM that has been held on the Balkan Peninsula (Macedonia, Turkey, and Slovenia).
By Peter Bandettini
Episode produced by Anastasia Brovkin and Nils Muhlert
In this wide ranging discussion, Peter and Melanie Boly address everything related to her work on consciousness. They start with some of her early work on resting state as a modulator for detecting subtle stimuli and then get into a discussion on a working definition of consciousness and her work on understanding the neural correlates of consciousness. Melanie is a proponent of the idea that many, if not all, of the fundamental physical correlates of consciousness reside in the posterior part of the brain. Peter and Melanie also discuss Integrated Information Theory (IIT): how it helps us begin to understand consciousness. Lastly they consider her studies of sleep and how dreaming is not limited to REM sleep. This interesting discussion straddles theoretical work and practical clinical applications of brain imaging.
Melanie Boly, MD, PhD. Melanie Boly is a neurologist and neuroscientist who has worked for more than fifteen years in the field of altered states of consciousness such as vegetative state, sleep and anesthesia. She has worked with and has been mentored by such people as Stephen Laureys, Adrian Owen, Marcelo Massimini, and Karl Friston. Her research is directed at combining neuroimaging techniques such as PET, fMRI, TMS-EEG, and high-density EEG to a theoretical framework, known as the Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness, hoping to uncover the neural mechanisms associated with levels of consciousness as well as its contents in healthy subjects and neurological patients. She has over 150 publications and is Associate Editor of the journals Neuroimage, Frontiers in Consciousness Research, Frontiers in Brain Imaging Methods and Neuroscience of Consciousness. Currently, she is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin in the Neurology department, with a secondary appointment in Psychology. She received her MD in 2005 and her Ph.D. in 2009 both from the University of Liege, Belgium. From 2009-2014 she did post docs at the University of Liege, University College London, and then the University of Wisconsin, Madison. By all measures, Dr. Boly is a rising star in advancing our understanding of the neural correlates of altered states of consciousness. She also collaborates with many luminaries in consciousness research including Christof Koch and Giulio Tononi.
By Peter Bandettini and Rachael Stickland
Fresh new sounds welcome you back to season 2 of the Neurosalience podcast! In this episode Peter Bandettini talks to production lead Rachael Stickland. They summarize the types of podcasts released in Season 1, the experience of making the podcast so far, and episodes and themes coming up in Season 2. This episode production is by Nils Muhlert and Anastasia Brovkin.
Through their chat, Peter and Rachel answer the question: Who is involved in making this podcast? Peter Bandettini contacts guests, prepares for interviews, and carries out these interviews, as host of the podcast. This process is supported by a wider team of volunteers who also package the episodes for production: Anastasia Brovkin, Ekaterina Dobryakova, Katie Moran, Nils Muhlert, Kevin Sitek and Rachael Stickland. Roselyne Chauvin adapted the OHBM logo into the great podcast logo. All these people are members or contributors with the OHBM Communication Committee; there are also many other people in this committee that have supported the podcast, contributing ideas to help get it up and running and to keep it going. If you don’t know much about this committee see this recent blog post that tells you all about it in the form of a chat with past and current chairs and chair-elects. They even talk about how the idea for the podcast came about and their thoughts on it. If you have thoughts for future episodes, share them with us by emailing ohbmbrain AT gmail.com.
By: Nils Muhlert
Professor Marcus Raichle has played a truly pivotal role in the discovery of the physiological basis of functional neuroimaging. During the 1980s he helped to discover the relative independence of blood flow and oxygen consumption during changes in brain activity; in the 1990s he identified the ‘default mode’ of brain activity; more recently, his team carried out critical work into the infraslow activity of the brain. Marcus is currently the Alan A. & Edith L. Wolff Professor of Medicine and a Professor of Neurology, Radiology, Neurobiology and Biomedical Engineering at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri. He took time out of his busy schedule to tell us about his seminal studies on measuring blood flow and exploring the rhythms of the brain.
By Peter Bandettini and the Neurosalience production team
In this podcast, Peter and David Poeppel discuss what it might mean to understand the brain, and how MRI and other imaging modalities may play a part. They discuss David’s past work with Greg Hickok on language pathways as well as his study of the auditory cortex. Another topic discussed is the potential impact of David’s work clinically as well as the need to start with—and progressively add to—models of the brain.
David Poeppel Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University (NYU). Since 2014, he has also been the Director of the Department of Neuroscience at Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics (MPIEA). In 2019, he co-founded the Center for Language, Music and Emotion, an international joint research center, co-sponsored by the Max Planck Society and New York University. Since 2021, he is now also the Managing Director of the Ernst Strüngmann Institute in Germany.
David grew up between Munich, Germany; Cambridge MA, USA; and Caracas, Venezuela. He obtained his bachelor's degree (1990) and doctorate (1995) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He received training in functional brain imaging as a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Medicine of the University of California, San Francisco. From 2000 to 2008, he directed the Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Laboratory at the University of Maryland College Park, where he was a professor of linguistics and biology. He joined New York University in 2009.
He was a fellow at the Berlin Institute for Advanced Study and has been a guest professor at several institutions. He has received the DaimlerChrysler Berlin Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and other honors.
David Poeppel is a researcher who employs behavioral and cognitive neuroscience approaches to study the brain basis of auditory processing, speech perception and language comprehension. The research in Poeppel's laboratory addresses questions such as: What are the cognitive and neuronal “parts lists” that form the basis for language processing, the fundamental constituents used in speech and language? How is sensory information transformed into the abstract representations that underlie language processing? What are the neural circuits that enable language processing?
Well-known contributions of the Poeppel laboratory include: the functional anatomic model of language developed with Greg Hickok; research on lateralization in auditory processing; and experimental work on the role of neuronal oscillations in audition and speech perception. He also writes and lectures about methodological questions at the interdisciplinary boundary between cognitive science research and brain research.
NEUROSALIENCE EP17: Dynamic modeling of the brain, NeuroImage, and the neuroscience crisis in Australia with Michael Breakspear
By Peter Bandettini and the Neurosalience production team
In this wide ranging podcast discussion, Peter talks to Michael Breakspear about his motivations for modelling brain dynamics and how his research may pay off in the long run towards clinical applications. Michael is also the current Editor-in-Chief of the journal NeuroImage; there is discussion of some of the changes that have occurred, such as new types of papers, new policies on data sharing, and of course the transition to open-access. Michael mentions a new offshoot of NeuroImage called NeuroImage Reports, which welcomes re-analysis of previous results. Lastly, recent news of the Australian National University shutting down its neuroscience program because of budget problems is discussed.
Michael Breakspear Ph.D. is a physicist, psychiatrist, and the leader of the Systems Neuroscience and Translational Neuroimaging Group at the Hunter Medical Research Institute at the University of Newcastle. He is the current Editor-in-Chief of the journal NeuroImage. His work in physics focuses on dynamic models of large-scale brain activity, toolbox development and the detection of nonlinear dynamics in empirical data. His work in translational imaging encompasses healthy ageing, dementia, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, with a focus on connectomics and risk prediction.
Michael grew up in Sydney and studied medicine, philosophy and mathematics. He undertook early-career research training in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney before moving to the School of Psychiatry at UNSW as a mid-career researcher. He formed his Systems Neuroscience Group at the University of South Wales in Sydney in 2004, then moved to QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in 2009. He relocated to Newcastle in 2019 and established the Systems Neuroscience Group, Newcastle (SNG-Newy) with aspirations to integrate basic methods, bioinformatics and clinical translation with a unique regional Australian character. Their imaging centre is in a beautiful bushland setting in Awabakal country.
In addition to basic research training, he also completed training in psychiatry and nowadays combines his research career with clinical sessions in adult psychiatry. Michael has an interest in recovery-focussed treatment of mood disorders, psychosis, and addiction. In the past he has also worked in prison mental health and inner-city community psychiatry.
Michael has a passion for climate science, being rather social, and surfing.
The OHBM communication committee (OHBM ComCom) works to improve communication both within and beyond the OHBM community, creating content for the OHBM blog, podcast and social media and reporting about current topics in our community and field.
Founded in 2015 from a Council Strategic Planning retreat chaired by Karen Berman, ComCom was originally envisioned as a way to improve communication between Council and membership, serving as a contact point for members throughout the year. Under its first chair Randy Gollub, ComCom established four initial teams: social media, blog, lay media, and website. From this strong foundation, ComCom has grown to include additional platforms such as the new OHBM podcast Neurosalience.
In this interview, the 2019 chair Nikola Stikov, 2020 chair Nils Muhlert, current chair Ilona Lipp, and chair-elect Elizabeth DuPre sit down together to discuss the history of ComCom, ongoing initiatives, and the importance of open communication both within OHBM as well as to the broader scientific community.
If you are interested in joining ComCom or contributing to the OHBM blog or podcast, please get in touch with current chair Ilona Lipp by email at lippi [at] cbs.mpg.de or on Twitter at @ilona_lipp.
By: Winson Yang, on behalf of the SEA-SIG
The Sustainability and Environmental Action Special Interest Group (SEA-SIG) was formed by the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) in 2020 in recognition of the need to reduce the impact of the organization and its members on the environment. The SIG has three working groups, with each providing a unique focus for shared action:
Neuroimaging Data Sharing and Open Brain Science in China: The 5th Annual Event of Chinese Young Scholars for Human Brain Mapping
By: Chao-Gan Yan
The 5th Annual Event of Chinese Young Scholars for Human Brain Mapping was held on June 23, 2021 under the topic of “Neuroimaging data sharing and open brain science in China”. As in previous editions, the goal of this event is to bring together Chinese researchers from the OHBM community to communicate, discuss, and collaborate on cutting edge neuroscience research topics and methods. We invited Professors Ying Han, Jiang Qiu, Sha Tao, Chao-Gan Yan, Chun-Shui Yu, Yu-Feng Zang, Zhan-Jun Zhang, and Xi-Nian Zuo to give talks on open neuroimaging resources in China.
Neurosalience Episode 16: Understanding the reproducibility crisis and how to get through it, with Dr. Ahmad Hariri
By Peter Bandettini; production by Kevin Sitek & Rachael Stickland
Dr. Hariri recently published an important paper on the test-retest reliability of common task-fMRI measures. This received attention in the field and from the popular media and generated useful discussions. In this podcast Peter and Ahmad discuss the implications of this paper and how to address the challenges it presents and continue to move the field forward. This is an informative and positive discussion about how to collectively address these issues as a field.
By Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus & Nils Muhlert
The neuroimaging community has been very active in creating large-scale studies across a range of age groups, which have helped to tackle reproducibility issues. Most studies originate in the United States and Europe, although many other geographic regions are pursuing similar initiatives (for instance, you can read about initiatives in China in our blogpost). The Middle East, a 7.2m km2 region of diverse religions and cultures, has been very productive in the neuroimaging community in the past years. To get an update on how neuroimaging is changing in this region we asked brain mappers from the middle east to let us know of their projects and surveyed prominent researchers in different countries. We provide a brief overview of some of these activities in the Emirates, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey with the hope of future scientific collaboration between these countries.
Interview by Peter Bandettini, production by Nils Muhlert and Niall Duncan
This podcast idea was precipitated by Dimitri Kullman’s 2020 editorial in Brain, causing a stir in the community. It leveled criticism about the clinical validity of fMRI. Some of it was outdated but some was indeed on point. In this podcast we had a great discussion on all things fMRI - what it can and cannot measure, and how it can continue to proceed. We also discuss some of the scientific culture surrounding fMRI. Overall, the discussion was useful in bringing some of the flaws as well as some of the outstanding innovations to light. We ended up agreeing that fMRI is in fact, an extremely useful tool that allows penetrating insight into the brain at a specific temporal and spatial scale. We feel that there is still considerable hope yet also considerable challenge in increasing its clinical relevance.
Dr. Dimitri Kullmann is a professor of Neurology at UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology.
Dimitri received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1984 and his Bachelor of Medicine/Surgery from the University of London in 1986. He alternated between research in synaptic transmission and post graduate medical training in London. In 1992, he started his lab at the Institute of Neurology and in 2000, he became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.
Dimitri's interests span the fundamental mechanisms of synaptic transmission, the computational properties of small neuronal circuits, and alterations in neuronal and circuit excitability in epilepsy and other neurological disorders. The core methods in his lab are in vitro electrophysiology and pharmacology, but he also applies confocal and two-photon laser scanning microscopy, computational simulations, molecular genetic methods, and heterologous expression of mutated ion channels. His laboratory has contributed to the discovery of silent synapses, glutamate spillover, presynaptic GABAA receptors in the cortex, human epilepsy caused by K+ and Ca2+ channel mutations, tonic inhibition in the hippocampus, and Hebbian and anti-Hebbian LTP in hippocampal interneurons.
One of Dimitri's goals is to understand how phenomena that he has studied at the cellular level interact to regulate the excitability of small neuronal circuits. He is integrating studies on hippocampal circuit function with knowledge of how interneurons and principal cells fire during different behaviours. This is being approached both experimentally and with computational simulations. He also aims to apply his lab's recent insights into the cellular consequences of inherited mutations of ion channels (channelopathies) to develop new ways to diagnose and treat neurological diseases.
Dimitri was editor of the journal Brain from 2013 to 2020. He brings to the table the perspective of a clinician neuroscientist who does research at the neuronal scale.
Dr. Vince Calhoun is the director, since 2019, of Translational Research in Neuroimaging and Data Science (TReNDS), which includes three universities: Georgia State, Georgia Tech, and Emory.
In 2002, Vince received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and then became an assistant clinical professor at Yale, Director of the Medical Image Analysis laboratory Institute of Living, in Hartford. He moved on in 2006 to the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque as an associate professor, and moved up to become a Distinguished Professor at The University of New Mexico and as a leader in various forms of the Mind Research Network in Albuquerque.
Vince is an expert on brain imaging acquisition and analysis and has created numerous algorithms for making sense of complex brain imaging data. He is the creator of the group independent component analysis algorithm, which has become widely used for extracting 'networks' of coherent activity from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. He was an early innovator in approaches to characterize the dynamics of brain connectivity. He has also developed techniques to link many different types of data, called 'data fusion' including various types of brain imaging (structural, functional, connectivity) with genomic and epigenomic data. A key focus of Calhoun's work is the development of tools to identify brain imaging markers to help identify and potentially treat various brain disorders including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, and Alzheimer's disease. He has recently served as President of the OHBM and has been truly prolific in his work to push the methodology of fMRI.
The Neurosalience production team consists of Anastasia Brovkin, Katie Moran, Nils Muhlert, Kevin Sitek, and Rachael Stickland.
By Peter Bandettini & the OHBM Neurosalience production team
Here Professor Peter Bandettini has a wide ranging discussion with the 2021 Early Career Investigator Awardee, Chao-Gan Yan. They talk a bit about his career path, the highly impactful work he has been doing, as well as some of the most challenging issues in fMRI: dealing with motion, variability, finding biomarkers, and designing just the right packages that help the beginner and expert alike. Chao-Gan gives some great advice to new investigators regarding what was important to him to get him where he is today.
Dr. Chao-Gan Yan is a professor at the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IPCAS). He is the Director of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research Center, the Director of International Big-Data Center for Depression Research, and the Principal Investigator of The R-fMRI Lab located at IPCAS. Before he joined the IPCAS in 2015, he worked as a Research Scientist at the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research and a Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine.
Dr. Yan received his Ph.D. degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning at Beijing Normal University in 2011. His research mainly focuses on the resting-state fMRI (R-fMRI) computational methodology, mechanisms of spontaneous brain activity, and their applications in depression. He has addressed fundamental methodological issues such as the impact of head motion, standardization, and multiple comparisons on the study of resting-state functional connectomics. He has also developed data processing and analysis toolbox for R-fMRI, DPABI, and DPARSF, the latter having been cited over 2000 times.
The Neurosalience production team consists of Anastasia Brovkin, Katie Moran, Nils Muhlert, Kevin Sitek, and Rachael Stickland.
For Brain Mappers around the world, the OHBM annual meeting is a time to meet, network, and learn about the latest progress across the many domains of human neuroimaging. Despite the challenges introduced by COVID19, the virtual conference formats used in 2020 and now in 2021 offer the chance to maintain contacts and benefit from many of the normal features of an in-person conference. In 2020, the COVID19 pandemic forced a rapid transition with little time or resources to enable organizers to fully realize the many social aspects of OHBM that are most beloved by attendees- the ample opportunities for talking around posters, chance hallway greetings that turn into deep and meaningful friendships and collaborations, celebratory parties that ensure you will find all your friends and colleagues to catch up and network for that job or bit of news you are seeking out. Many solutions were created by OHBM attendees, as detailed in our 2020 roundup, and these provided ideas to help shape OHBM2021.
In seeking an alternative platform for OHBM 2021, OHBM leadership, with plenty of grassroots input from the community and incredible support from volunteer leadership in the form of a Technology Task Force, took the risk of selecting an alternative open-source meeting software platform, Sparklespaces. This new platform offered the chance to robustly support social engagement while stretching to meet the demands of the more traditional meeting elements offered by competing platforms. One aspect of the decision to go with Sparklespaces was the option for our Program Committee Leadership and our Technology Task Force to work in close collaboration with the Sparklespace developers to ensure that the resulting software met our needs; unlike other providers which offered fixed packages, the Sparkle team was open to co-creating tailored features for our community. As part of this deal, we would retain access to the shared development source code for future meetings. Everyone involved was and remains very enthusiastic about this collaboration, with this year’s platform being affectionately dubbed #PlanetBrain by our Chair, Aina Puce.
For those attending OHBM2021, the start of the meeting did not however live up to expectations. A slew of connectivity problems meant that many people experienced sometimes considerable lag in accessing the symposia, poster hall and keynote talks. Here we set out what happened and how things are being rapidly resolved. Before the close of the first day, an update was provided from the Chair of the Technology Task Force, Alex Fornito:
The sparkle team and OHBM members worked around the clock to resolve these issues. We deployed a backup stream site within hours and screening room within a day - which allowed another way to watch live streams and explore screening room videos while we resolved the core technical issues. Several fixes incrementally improved performance over the first couple of days, and thankfully, from midway through the Wednesday session we saw a significant improvement in connectivity. The prime culprit - identified by Soichi Hayashi (and the Sparkle Team) - seemed to be that planet brain was bogged down by its handling of user update events, which inform different conference goers of each others’ whereabouts so as to enable a highly collaborative, social experience. As more and more users joined the platform, and moved between the thousands of different events and spaces, each user received a cascadingly large number of update notifications, causing browsers to struggle. Though the platform is well tested at volumes of thousands of users, its scalability with the combination of users, spaces (including posters), and events each being in the thousands had not been tested in combination and led the site to perform poorly. The Education Courses functions performed more smoothly because there were both fewer users, and fewer spaces and events- thus exponentially fewer user-update events.
Soichi’s temporary fix was to switch from receiving real-time events to polling user information, and so limiting the number of updates that a browser must make. This patch substantially improved the performance and user experience of #PlanetBrain’ - and a more permanent fix (requiring more substantial reworking of the codebase) is currently being implemented by the Sparkle team. On June 23rd, OHBM tweeted to inform users of the upgrade to the Poster Hall functionality and invited people to join again, offering an accompanying video to showcase the reboot!
The platform should be operating more smoothly, and is closer to the vision developed by the large team of people who worked on putting this conference together. Improvements are ongoing and the OHBM team is appreciative of everyone’s feedback.
In addition, rest assured that all talks are being recorded, so anything you may have missed can be rewatched later. If you do have comments on the process or would like to hear more from OHBM Leadership on these and other key issues, OHBM members are invited to join us at the General Assembly and Feedback Forum (Town Hall), 30th June at 9am EDT/1pm UTC (link to be sent by email soon).
In this episode of Neurosalience, Peter Bandettini meets the OHBM Open Science Special Interest Group (OS-SIG). Together they discuss the history of and the unique, important role the OS-SIG plays in OHBM. The group fosters open science not only by encouraging best practices and sharing data and code, but also by encouraging inclusivity in science and open- ended discussion in a supportive environment.
Aki Nikolaidis - is chair of the OHBM Open Science Special Interest Group, and served on the Student Postdoc Special Interest Group from 2017-2019. He is a research scientist at the Center for the Developing Brain at the Child Mind Institute in New York City. His research focuses on using advanced statistical methods to better understand psychopathology, brain organization, and cognitive performance. Aki's work in neuroscience, psychology, and machine learning has been featured in over 20 peer-reviewed publications.
Janine Bijsterbosch is chair- elect of the OHBM Open Science Special Interest Group. She is Assistant Professor in the Computational Imaging section of the Department of Radiology at Washington University in St Louis. The Personomics Lab headed by Dr. Bijsterbosch aims to understand how brain connectivity patterns differ from one person to the next, by studying the “personalized connectome”. Using open data resources such as the Human Connectome Project and UK Biobank, the Personomics Lab adopts cutting edge analysis techniques to study functional connectivity networks and their role in behavior, performance, mental state, disease risk, treatment response, and physiology. In addition, Dr. Bijsterbosch wrote a textbook on functional connectivity analyses, which was published by Oxford University Press in 2017.
Johanna Bayer is secretary- elect of the OHBM Open Science Special Interest Group, treasurer elect of the OHBM Australia chapter and active member of the OHBM Sustainability and Environmental Group. This year is also her second year behind the scenes helping to organize the OHBM Brainhack. Johanna, who is originally from Munich, Germany has a background in Psychology, Neuroscience and Computer science and was awarded the Melbourne Research Scholarship in 2018 to pursue her PhD at the University of Melbourne. Her PhD work is focusing on creating a normative model of the brain from neuroimaging data to study depression, and on a method to harmonize site-effects in large neuroimaging data sets. In addition to her passion for her work and for Open Science, Johanna also loves dancing, rock climbing, computer science and cats.
Katie Bottenhorn is the secretary of the OHBM Open Science Special Interest Group. She is a graduate student who is interested in how large-scale brain network topology varies both between- and within-individuals over the course of everyday life. She is especially interested in how hormonal fluctuations associated with the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptives contribute to this variability, and how this differs with respect to changes in sleep, exercise, and stress.
Melvin Selim Atay is the inclusivity officer of the OHBM Open Science Special Interest Group. He is working at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey and his research focus is explainability of deep learning.
By Nabin Koirala
In light of her upcoming Keynote lecture at OHBM2021, we wanted to get up close with Anna Wang Roe. Dr. Roe is currently the director of the Interdisciplinary Institute of Neuroscience and Technology at Zhejiang University, China. In the interview, we talked about her academic journey and were lucky to hear some backstage stories to get to know Dr. Roe even better.
In this episode Peter Bandettini finds his similarities with Professor Nik Weiskopf. They are both physicists working at the interface of MRI acquisition and brain physiology and function, plumbing ever more quantitative information about how our brains are organized, how they change with disease and how they vary between individuals. We find out about Nik’s professional history, get into real-time fMRI neurofeedback, and discuss his work on quantitative MRI for deriving maps of myelin, iron content, fiber track direction, and more. All of this done at unprecedented resolutions using their unique Connectome scanner - one of only four in the world.
Professor Nik Weiskopf is the Director of the Department of Neurophysics at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in 2004 from Graduate School of Neural & Behavioural Sciences and International Max Planck Research School in Tübingen, Germany.
In 2004 Nik moved to the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London in the UK. He quickly moved up to head the Physics Group there in 2006, becoming Senior Lecturer (equivalent to an associate professor) in 2009. He became full professor of MRI Physics at the UCL Institute of Neurology in 2014 and subsequently moved to the Directorship of Neurophysics at the Max Planck Insitute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig in 2015.
The Neurosalience production team consists of Anastasia Brovkin, Katie Moran, Nils Muhlert, Kevin Sitek, and Rachael Stickland.
by Rosanna Olsen, Valentina Borghesani and AmanPreet Badhwar on behalf of the OHBM Diversity & Inclusivity Committee
OHBM initially launched a “Diversity and Gender Task Force” in 2017 to address the growing need to recognize and address multiple forms of inequity with respect to gender balance and geographical representation on the OHBM Council.
Since 2017, this initiative has worked towards tackling a range of issues surrounding underrepresentation at OHBM. The task force has evolved into a standing “Diversity and Inclusivity Committee” that meets regularly to ensure that the needs of the diverse OHBM community are adequately represented at all levels of the organization and in all of its activities. Not surprisingly, members of the Diversity and Inclusivity Committee liaisons with all OHBM Committees and SIGs throughout the year.
During this year’s virtual meeting we are planning a series of different events to highlight and celebrate issues of diversity and inclusivity in OHBM.
The 3rd annual DIC symposium: Racial Bias in Neuroscience
This is the third year OHBM will feature a symposium devoted to the discussion of issues in diversity that affect our society. In 2019, speakers presented issues of gender equality that are present at the OHBM meeting, it’s leadership, and the field of human brain mapping. Speakers provided an overview on gender imbalances in academia, including citation counts, conference speakers, and prize awardees. The issue of biologically versus culturally driven sex differences in brain anatomy was also discussed. In 2020, speakers discussed neuroscience issues pertinent to the LGBTQ+ community such as underrepresentation of LGBTQ+ individuals in STEM careers and the complex nature of gender/sexuality and how these factors are addressed in research.
This year’s symposium will be exploring issues of racial bias in neuroscience. People of color are not well-represented in academia, especially at senior levels (e.g. Full Professor). This year our speakers will discuss issues such as systemic racism and other factors leading to the underrepresentation of Black and Latin scholars. Moreover, as in many areas of science, the majority of human brain mapping research is conducted in homogenous, non-representative populations, which is problematic for the interpretability and generalization of research findings. Strategies for promoting equity within the field of human brain mapping, overcoming current barriers for ethnic minorities in OHBM, and increasing the ethnic diversity within our research samples, will be discussed.
This year’s OHBM conference is quickly approaching, including two consistent conference highlights: the OHBM Brainhack and Open Science Room (OSR). To learn more about what we can expect from this year’s events, I spoke to some of the current leadership of the OHBM Open Science Special Interest Group (OSSIG).
Current chair Aki Nikolaidis and secretary-elect Johanna Bayer joined us to talk about ongoing initiatives within the OSSIG, while hackathon co-chairs Matteo Mancini and Tibor Auer and OSR co-chairs Gabriel Gonzalez-Escamilla and Eva Alonzo-Ortiz told us about the upcoming events.
OHBM 2021 Keynote Interview Series: Q&A with Dora Hermes - Multi-modal computational models for a new human systems neuroscience
By: Elizabeth DuPre
Dora Hermes is currently an Associate Professor of biomedical engineering at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where her work focuses on identifying disease biomarkers and developing neuroprosthetics to interface with the brain.
I had the pleasure of catching up with her before her 2021 OHBM keynote lecture to find out more about her research, what drove her work on iEEG-BIDS, and her advice for early career researchers.
In this episode of NeuroSalience, Peter chats with Alex about connectomics, or the study of the brain’s networks of connections. We discuss Alex’s work leveraging the Allen Brain Atlas (https://portal.brain-map.org/) and fMRI to better understand the genetic basis of the network structure. He points out clear differences between network hubs and other network components, with hubs having important roles in resting state dynamics and in neurological disorders. We also discuss the ongoing challenge of removing physiological noise from the fMRI signal in the context of his new and powerful methods for dissecting it out. Last, we touch on the new iteration of the OHBM virtual platform that Alex was instrumental in developing.
In this episode, Peter Bandettini meets with Tom Nichols, Remi Gau and Jack Van Horn to discuss the motivation for a set of best reporting and analysis practices. This provides insight into how the COBIDAS (Committee on Best Practice in Data Analysis and Sharing) in OHBM started. We talk about the reproducibility crisis in fMRI and how it is being addressed. We discuss how the culture of fMRI has changed from isolated scientists doing N=20 studies to a connected web of researchers collecting and contributing to fMRI databases of high quality data for the purpose of revealing ever more subtle information. Through this work, the field aims to achieve robust biomarkers that are clinically useful in diagnosing and treating diseases. We also discuss many of the issues and decisions made in analysis, and how this may contribute to irreproducible results. Last, we consider the ongoing and future global efforts to increase data transparency to make fMRI a more effective tool.