Mind Institute Pioneers Real-Time Brain Imaging

February 8, 2006

Contact: Luke Frank, 272-3679


ALBUQUERQUE , NM The MIND Institute (Mental Illness and Neuroscience Discovery) has taken a tremendous leap forward in plotting neurological activity as it occurs in the human brain.

In a study funded by the MIND Institute out of one of its partner sites, the Brain Sciences Center at Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center , researcher Apostolos Georgopoulos, M.D. Ph.D., was able to map subjects' neurological reactions to the millisecond while looking at a spot of light. This marks the first time researchers have been able to see how numerous, very specific clusters of neurons react to particular stimuli as they are happening.

"All human behavior, from batting an eyelash to remembering a date, involves countless, continuous interactions among neuronal ensembles," Georgopoulos says. "Heretofore, we've been unable to accurately plot these ensembles and pathways. Now we can see very specifically which parts of the brain activate, integrate and process during routine physical and neurological function."

Using magnetoencephalography (MEG) to record tiny magnetic fields from the brain, Georgopoulos can accurately measure the workings of tens-of-thousands of brain cells, similar to watching a motion picture of the brain firing signals, as opposed to a single snapshot.

"It's very exciting," adds MIND Institute CEO John Rasure. "If we can map a baseline of normal, healthy human response and compare it to neurological responses in people suffering Alzheimer's disease or schizophrenia, for example, we ultimately can isolate incredibly specific areas of neurological dysfunction or damage for treatment. This is a very significant step in understanding human neurological function."

The MIND Institute , incorporated in 1998, is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to expanding neuroscience research using state-of-the-art technology. The organization's national headquarters are located on the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque , New Mexico .

Collaborative research among The MIND Institute partners creates a powerful scientific consortium aggressively exploring brain research and neuroscience discovery. Research partners include the Athinoula A. Martinos Biomedical Imaging Center at Massachusetts General Hospital ; the Department of Psychiatry and the BRAIN Center at University of New Mexico ; the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research and the Department of Psychiatry at University of Minnesota ; and the Brain Sciences Center at Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Hospital .

For more information on the MIND, visitwww.themindinstitute.org.

Contact: Luke Frank, 272-3322

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