Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
The various quantitative MRI parameters are sensitive to different aspects of tissue microstructure and chemical environments inside the brain, such as to myelin or iron content. Using established knowledge and novel discoveries on biophysical processes that underly the MR signal, we develop models to make direct inferences on microstructure based on MRI data. For example, we develop biophysical models to quantify iron in superficial white matter and the substantia nigra and to assess the mesoscopic organization of the cortex with diffusion imaging. Such models also provide a deeper understanding of cortical layering from measured MRI data.
We linked the effective transverse relaxation rate R2* with dopaminergic cell densities and iron concentrations in nigrosome 1 by combining 3D quantitative iron histology, post mortem ultra-high resolution MRI, tissue deironing, and analytical modeling approaches.
We study the microanatomical properties of human white matter tracts with high-resolution light and electron microscopy with the goal to better interpret magnetic resonance imaging-based biophysical models of white matter properties.