School of Psychology News & events

Research Summary

Jones, DK, Singh, K, Wise, R (2012 - 2017) Dedicated Computing Infrastructure for the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre. Wellcome Trust. £668,226.

Specialist Summary

The Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) is a multi-modal imaging centre (comprising MRI, MEG, EEG and TMS) that opened in March 2006. Our strategic aim is to become the reference site for the development, integration and application of multimodal neuroimaging methods in health and disease.

Our strategy encompasses several key-objectives: (1) to understand the biophysical origin of neuroimaging signals; (2) to optimize data capture/analysis methods to target the most relevant aspects of those signals; (3) to apply these methods to understand the brain in both health and a range of psychiatric / neurological conditions; and (4) to disseminate the tools widely to the neuroimaging community.

Current foci include: deeper characterization of tissue microstructure; understanding of individual differences in electrophysiology; memory processes; modulation of attention; neurovascular coupling; pharmacological modulation of brain function; the impact of differences in brain chemistry on brain function; and disease applications including: mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimers disease, ADHD, autism, schizophrenia, depression, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.

In response to expanding computational demands arising from our efforts in developing, promoting and deploying cutting-edge multi-modal methods, we have requested funds to cover the crucial replacement of CUBRICs computing infrastructure to increase computational speed, memory and storage capacity.

Non-Specialist Summary

CUBRIC is a brain imaging research centre that combines information from multiple imaging technologies to understand more about the brain in health and disease. Our work focuses on optimizing data acquisition and analysis methods to maximize the information we can get about the brain. Our aim is to increase our understanding of the processes that underpin the neuroimaging signals that we measure and then to apply this knowledge in studies of the brains of healthy people and those with diseases such as epilepsy, depression, Alzheimers disease and mild cognitive impairment.

The problem is that as we combine more and more data, the computations required to process their combined form become increasingly complicated. We need to store more of the data in the computer memory and perform more and more calculations, which means that the processing time on a single computer becomes impractically long. With an everincreasing number of researchers joining / collaborating with CUBRIC, increasing complexity in the data analysis methods and larger data volumes in general, effective progress can only be made by increasing the computational power. Our proposal seeks to provide that increase in power, allowing us to continue to improve our understanding of the brain.