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  3. Brain Imaging and Neural Networks A

Brain Imaging and Neural Networks A (NEUR90009)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeNEUR90009
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject is an intensive 5 consecutive days program (totalling 28 contact hours) introducing the main principles of brain imaging at whole organ level in humans and animal models. This subject will normally be offered in week 6 of Semester 1, depending on when the Easter Non -Teaching Period occurs (ie between weeks 6 and 9). The subject comprises:

  • A series of 16 hour long lectures, each delivered by research experts in the field, covering three broad themes:
  1. Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  2. Positron Emission Tomography/Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography and
  3. Invasive Methods for Measuring Brain Activity in Animal Models
  • Basic concepts of each modality are introduced, as well as their major research applications.
  • Particular technology advantages and disadvantages are outlined comparatively to highlight specific use and limitations.
  • Design and analysis of experiments, as well as practical decisions that must be made in the process are discussed in the context of the various imaging modalities.
  • In addition to this, the program includes 12 hours of tutorials in which a group project deepens and consolidates this information through critiquing an imaging research paper. This group project culminates in a class presentation of the group’s conclusions and class discussion at the end of the week. Group memberships are chosen to ensure a relatively uniform mix of background disciplines and experience.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students will be able to:

  • Develop an understanding of contemporary brain imaging technologies and their applications in basic and clinical neuroscience research at an intermediate to advanced level.
  • Acquire a basic vocabulary of imaging methods to be able to interact with multi-disciplinary imaging experts when required.
  • Develop a capacity to critically analyse the neuroscience research literature using imaging modalities.
  • Develop an awareness of potential pitfalls in the imaging field and common errors found in the literature.
  • Appreciate the need for and benefit from collaborating with imaging technology experts when setting up experiments using imaging methods.
  • Demonstrate the application of principles learned in the subject to their research project.

Generic skills

On completion of this subject, students will have developed the following generic skills:

  • Critical reading skills at an advanced level.
  • Oral communication skills including public speaking and on the interpersonal level.
  • Written communication skills at a high level.
  • Team work skills and becoming aware of the benefit of collaborating with others.
  • High organization and time management skills in the short and longer term.
  • The capacity to apply concepts learned in their own area of research.

Last updated: 6 August 2019