Structure and Operation of the Human Brain – Week 10

This week we had a lecture on brain connectivity, the wiring of the brain; in which was discussed that the connectivity is precise in for example the visual pathway and how the different cells are distributed and further differentiated to have different functions.

We also had our last excursion this week; we went to went to the Baba Center (BAby Brain Activity) in Helsinki Children’s Hospital, it’s a hospital but also a research center dedicated to studying babies’ brain activity.

Aside from providing healthcare as any hospital they have several research projects going on, such as AED, a project that investigates whether the antiepileptic medication during pregnancy affects the development of infant brain or later development of the child; RaMaVa, a project that studies the effect of maternal antidepressive medication on the development of newborn brain function; TOIBILAS, a pilot study designated to assess whether eyetracker-based cognitive tests could be used clinically to identify infants at risk of neurocognitive deficits; and VAURAS, a project which aims to understand the developmental effects of early-stage brain damage in babies.

 

image: www.babacenter.fi/en/

We were also shown some of the non-clinical research, a method of mapping the connectivity in the brain using MRI and a machine learning approach to monitor babies sleep (and make a hypnogram).

I really enjoyed these excursions as they provided insight not only into how the knowledge of this course is applied in the industry but also how it’s connected to other courses like Principles of Biomedical Imaging and what sort of things are being researched and developed.

Posted by Salvador Gutierrez Medina

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