Data analysis in brain imaging 

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As three or four dimensional (3-D, 3-D + time) imaging is the only technique to quantify the brain structure and function in living humans at the system level, analyzing brain imaging data has a unique position within neuroscience. Rapid advances in non-invasive neuroimaging methods have increased the possibilities to study changes occurring in human brain across a variety of time-scales ranging from seconds to entire life span. A large part of these advances can be attributed to the development of dedicated computational algorithms and applied mathematics, which are essential to extract quantitative information from images. Our team develops these computational methods to analyze the brain imaging data, evaluates the methods, for example, by using advanced simulations, and openly distributes the programs implementing the methods.

Projects (as PI):

Machine learning in brain imaging (PI J. Tohka, active 2015 - 2016, funded by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement nº 600371, el Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (COFUND2013-40258) and Banco Santander.)
This project develops computational methods for machine learning based analysis of large brain image collections. Machine learning refers to the construction and study of methods that can learn models of example data. These models can then be used to make future predictions, for example, predict an early diagnosis for a patient. With these newly developed methods we hope to aid neuroscientists to study on how brain diseases alter the brain structure and function and this way contribute to the better and earlier diagnosis of brain diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, autism, and schizophrenia.  


New neuroinformatics methods for automatic analysis of brain images (active 2009 - 2014, funded by Academy of Finland, PI J Tohka) 
This project aims at developing automatic methods for the analysis of brain images. This research belongs to the general field of neuroinformatics. Neuroinformatics combines neuroscience and informatics research to develop and apply advanced tools and approaches essential for a major advancement in understanding the structure and function of the brain. The interpretation of world-wide research data would not be possible without new and powerful computational data analysis approaches. The brain research is essential for the treatment of brain disorders and in future also for the prevention of them. The primary goal of neuroinformatics and related brain research is to investigate how a healthy brain functions. Then, by using this knowledge, it will be possible to study disease processes for instance by means of computer simulations.


Laboratory of Neuroimaging, University of Southern California, USA

McConnell Brain Imaging Centre, Monteral Neurological Institute, Canada

Brain and Mind Laboratory, Department of Biological Engineering and Computational Science, Aalto University, Finland

Strucural Brain Mapping Group, University of Jena, Germany

ITACA institute, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia , Valencia, Spain

Turku PET Centre, Turku, Finland