An overview of all the current student projects.

We are currently looking for several motivated students with a physics, biomedical technology, neuroscience or comparable background for MSc projects or internships. A wide range of possible projects exists, from functional MRI method development or magnetic resonance spectroscopy to cognitive neuroscience.

The use of local RF coils for high-resolution fMRI
The use of local receive coils allows us to zoom in closer on specific parts of the brain of interest for the study at hand. Although the 32-channel surface coil is used regularly for the visual cortex, its use outside the occipital region is more problematic. The aim of this project is to devise strategies to use the surface coils in other brain regions, especially to study the motor system.

Investigating image quality in quantitative brain mapping
Quantitative imaging is incredibly useful for diagnostic purposes, as information can be compared across time (for example, following an ageing patient) or scanner platforms. However, good quality quantitative scans can take a long time to acquire. The aim of this project is to study the impact of scan parameters on a fast T1 mapping sequence.

Evaluation and validation of dynamic brain spectroscopy protocols
A recent development in spectroscopy is the study of dynamic brain processes, such as task-driven activation. The metabolite changes associated with such tasks are small but measurable. The aim of this project is to compare several such spectroscopy protocols on both scanners, the 3T and 7T and select the best performing one.

Implementation of multi-voxel/multi-editing techniques for brain GABA measurements
GABA, or Gamma-AminoButyric Acid, is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. Concentrations of GABA in the brain are thought to be affected in a number of psychiatric diseases and, hence, the measurement of GABA concentrations in-vivo is of high interest. In this project we aim to measure GABA concentrations in healthy volunteers.

Functional imaging of the human cerebellums
The cerebellum is a relatively small brain region, which is nonetheless involved in a very wide range of tasks. Only high-resolution fMRI can spatially separate functional regions that are very close together, such as those representing the individual digits. In this serie of projects, we will study cerebellar BOLD responses to one of several motor or sensation related functions. These projects will suit students with a cognitive neuroscience (or similar) background. Programming experience in Matlab or Python is highly recommendes.

Minimum project duration 4 months fulltime, starting times are flexible. Note that the Spinoza Centre staff has no projects available in the area of clinical neuroscience, for opportunities in this field you might try to contact a relevant affiliated researcher.