Computing That Serves

Neuroimaging Investigations of the Mind and Behavior


Thursday, October 8, 2009 - 11:00am


Erin Bigler
Professor of Psychology and Neurology
Brigham Young University

Neuroimaging, in particular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), has revolutionized the study of the brain. MRI techniques like diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) permit the study of aggregate pathways in the brain, which in turn allows the investigation of connectivity within the brain that is associated with behavior. Functional MRI (fMRI) permits the investigation of neural correlates of brain activation associated with a particular behavior. New image-analysis techniques allow quantification of the entire brain, so that the volume of each brain structure, their contour and shape can be quantified along with thickness of the gray matter of the cortical mantel. All of these methods are being applied to the study of neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders. This colloquium will review all of these methods and how they have improved our current understanding of the neurobehavioral relationships observed in developmental disorders like autism and acquired brain injury.


Erin D. Bigler is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Brigham Young University, where he was the Department Chair from 1996-2002 and an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Utah and a member of the Utah Brain Institute. From 1977 to 1990 he was a Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Texas. Upon returning to BYU he established the Brain Imaging and Behavior Laboratory, researching neuroimaging variables in cognitive and neurobehavioral disorders. He is board certified in clinical neuropsychology by the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology/American Board of Professional Psychology, has authored or co-authored 9 textbooks and over 250 peer-reviewed articles in neuropsychology, neuroimaging, and neuroscience. He is currently the Associate Editor of Brain Imaging & Behavior and has served in a number of elected positions in professional neuropsychological societies.