Brain Image Analysis Laboratory At Suffolk University’s Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology: A part of the neuropsychology concentration.

Protocols

The laboratory has been studying the association of the orbital frontal cortex (OFC) to aggression and impulsivity. Click to see images of the tissue segmented brain in which the gray matter of the OFC has been traced on anterior, mid, and posterior slices. Click here to see images of the tissue segmented brain in which the gray matter of the DLPFC has been traced on anterior, mid, and posterior planes.

In a project on divergent thinking white matter thresholding and two-dimensional segmentation of the corpus callosum were used. Recently, Dr. Jerram has been mentoring students in the use of voxel-based morphometry (VBM) in SPM2. VBM is a whole-brain unbiased technique for analyzing structural MRI data and comparing groups using parametric statistical methods. Click here to see image files of brains processed in VBM: tissue segmentation output of a single subject, normalization of a single subject to a customized template (the upper left image is the single subject raw image, the center image is the customized template, and the lower right image is the single subject warped image), and statistical parametric map of a contrast of group of 10 SPGR images vs. 10 MPRAGE images of heterogeneous psychiatric patient samples matched on age, education and WRAT-Reading scores.

Dr. Jerram has also recently begun using intraclass correlation methods in functional MRI data to examine reliability of fMRI data and will continue to incorporate other statistical techniques to expand the types of questions that can be asked of structural and functional MRI data.

Resources

Dr. Gansler has collaborative relationships at Tufts University School of Medicine, and the majority of lab studies have come from the Psychiatry and Radiology services at T-NEMC. High resolution anatomic MRI scans are conducted in the 1.5 tesla magnet at Tufts, and the digital images are transferred for study at Suffolk. Dr. Jerram has collaborative relationships with the MGH-Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and the imaging center at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and much of his fMRI work is conducted at these sites.

 D. Jerram's publications include Hormonal Cycle Modulates Arousal Circuitry in Women Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Sex Differences in Prefrontal Cortical Brain Activity During fMRI of Auditory Verbal Working Memory. Dr. Gansler’s work is internally funded. Dr. Jerram’s work is funded through his collaboration with Dr. Jill Goldstein, Director of Research at the Connors Center for Women’s Health at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The laboratory is equipped with two Dell Work Stations, one is Linux-based and the other is a PC. Image analysis software includes the graphical user interface based medx image analysis software (linux) and analyzedirect (pc). Dr. Jerram has also begun to mentor students in SPM2 and SPM5 and has training in the FSL suite of image analysis tools, expanding the range of image analysis techniques available to students working in the lab.

Faculty

Dr. David Gansler began the laboratory in 2001 and Dr. Matthew Jerram joined the laboratory in 2007 bringing considerable expertise in brain imaging analysis methodology. Dr. Gansler, an experienced clinical neuropsychologist, has clinical and research experience in frontal lobe function and dysfunction and has been applying anatomic MRI methods toward understanding those issues. Dr. Jerram, an experienced psychotherapist and neuroscientist, is interested in exploring brain systems responsible for the interaction of cognitive and affective processes. Dr. Jerram has extensive experience in functional and anatomic MRI. Activity in the lab has focused around a group of heterogeneous psychiatric patients in an effort to better understand the neural circuitry of aggression and impulsivity. There is an ever-growing sample of psychiatric patients and matched-controls for study.