Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Emotion, Creativity, Exercise, and Injury

Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Emotion, Creativity, Exercise, and Injury

June 13, 2017

Access to a 3T Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner at UNCG has encouraged a few faculty in the Departments of Psychology and Kinesiology to explore how MRI may be used in their own research. Both structural and functional imaging are being used in a variety research areas from memory, learning, and creativity to exercise and cognition to the link between anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and osteoarthritis. While the breadth of research at UNCG is diverse, they are all using advanced imaging acquisition and image analysis methods in their investigation. While the opportunity for new research at UNCG is tremendous, what is missing at UNCG is a forum where faculty and students can further develop their skills, share their experiences, and discuss their ideas with each other.

Our goals for the Ashby Dialogs are to:

  1. Explore how imaging has been used by other investigators outside of UNCG to pursue similar research areas by having guest lecturers. By highlighting the advances of other investigators in various fields, we are hoping that more faculty at UNCG will see the possibilities and potential of MRI for their own research.
  2. Create an environment where the faculty and students can learn about advanced imaging echniques and how these techniques can be used to answer their scientific questions.
  3. Enable faculty and students to employ these advance imaging methods in their own research.
  4. Encourage collaborations between the Department of Psychology, Department of Music, and the Department of Kinesiology for investigating scientific questions of mutual interest.

We will achieve these goals by having a three seminars given by external guest lecturers, monthly meetings to discuss published journal articles, and weekly meetings to share hands on experience with image analysis methods throughout the 2015-2016 academic year.

For questions about the Ashby Dialogues or planned events please email Jeni Pathman at or Bob Kraft at

Weekly workshop meetings will be held in Sullivan Science Room 349 from 2-4pm on Tuesdays.  Usually, 2-3 pm is a discussion of a research article, and 3-4pm is a hands on tutorial about working with neuroimaging data.

**In order to receive the materials and annoucements for these meetings, please email your name and email address to Bob Kraft at  You will then be added to our email list.  This is the best way to keep updated about these workshops.

Please contact Jeni Pathman at or Bob Kraft at at least one week prior to any planned event to request disability accommodations. In all situations, a good faith effort (up until the time of the event) will be made to provide accommodations.

Guest Speakers

  1. November 17th, 2015
    Dr. Dustin Grooms, Ohio University
    Talk Title: Neuroplasticity of Musculoskeletal Trauma and Treatment
  2. February 19, 2016
    Dr. Paul Laurienti (Wake Forest University)
    Talk Title: “Complexity, Networks and the Human Brain”
    3:30pm; Sullivan 200
  3. February 29, 2016
    Dr. Roberto Cabeza (Duke University)
    Talk Title: “Perceiving the past: Reactivation of cortical memory traces”
    1:30pm; Sullivan 201

Neuroplasticity of Musculoskeletal Trauma and Treatment

We are happy to announce that the first outside speaker in our Ashby Dialogues series will be Dr. Dustin Grooms from Ohio University.  He will present a talk called “Neuroplasticity of Musculoskeletal Trauma and Treatment”.  Please see abstract below.

Following this talk, we will discuss an article selected by the speaker: Poldrack, 2015, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.  This article will be relevant to anyone interested in comparing groups or conditions using neuroimaging data.

All are welcome!

When: November 17th, 2-4pm

Where: Sullivan Science Room 227 [**Please note this room is different from our weekly Ashby Dialogue meeting room]

Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Grooms Talk Abstract:

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures are common activity-related knee injuries usually requiring surgical reconstruction to restore knee stability and function. Despite decades of research to improve surgical reconstruction and physical rehabilitation, injury of the ACL dramatically increases the risk for a recurrent injury, costly and long-term disabling osteoarthritis and decreased lifelong physical activity. Current research and clinical practice tends to focus on biomechanical adaptations, that may not take into consideration, how musculoskeletal trauma effects the full spectrum of sensorimotor function. Using fMRI to assay neural control of human movement, our lab has demonstrated a cascade of neuroplasticity induced by musculoskeletal injury and rehabilitation. This work connects highly dynamic measures of knee neuromuscular function with neuroimaging to generate a brain-behavior model in orthopedic medicine.

Complexity, Networks and the Human Brain

When: February 19, 3:30pm

Where: Sullivan Science Room 200

Laurienti Talk Abstract:

There are an estimated 100 billion neurons in the human brain with septillions of possible connections.  If we want to understand a system this complex, we need to consider the network of connections that underlies the function of the system. Individual brain regions do not operate in isolation. Rather, all brain regions are part of a complex interconnected network. Complexity theory and network science have begun to transform our understanding of the human brain. In this presentation I will discuss how complexity science is ideal for studying the human brain. I will introduce many of the exciting tools that are now available to examine and understand complex networks. I will show how ideas from complexity and network science can be used to study the human brain. I will conclude with a discussion of future directions that may help us further understand the brain, the mind, and human thoughts and perceptions.

Additional Information