News

Here you will find all the latest news about DRCMR and the researchers and students working at the centre

A PhD course on Statistical parametric mapping of functional and structural MRI data of the human brain is offered at Hvidovre Hospital in Copenhagen, October 2012. Registration via the the University of Copenhagen website. The program will follow. You may get a feel of it from the SPM course given in 2010.
Course title: Magnetic Resonance Imaging Techniques and Analysis Content and format: The course covers introductory MRI acquisition and image processing methods. The first half of the course is mainly lectures on MR basics, acquisition methods and parameters. Analysis of functional and structural imaging data will be covered in detail during the second half of the course. The course starts at a level requiring little or no MR experience. A technical background is not required. The target audience is employees and students at the MR department but the course is open and free for external participants. DRCMR employees, students, new-comers and co-workers are given priority if we (against expectations) have to limit the number of participants due to space limitations. The main aim of the course is to provide a basis for understanding MRI measurements, pitfalls and literature. The acquisition part of the course covers the basics  needed to follow the…
On October 14th 2011, Astrid Rosenstand Lou succesfully defended her Ph.D. thesis entitled Plasticity of the visual system throughout life – lessons from changes in monocular vision. Astrid receives the degree from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Copenhagen. Congratulations to Astrid!
ContAct is a research group funded by a grant of excellence from the Lundbeck-Foundation, given to Prof. Hartwig R. Siebner for the period of 2011-2015. ContAct addresses the ability of the human brain to flexibly integrate relevant contextual dimensions into actions. A better understanding of the neural mechanisms mediating such a flexible control is of central relevance to neuroscience. It is a pleasure to announce the new ContAct homepage designed by Steffen Angstmann. A very nice inauguration sympososium  was held in May 2011.
Five videos presenting Magnetic Resonance techniques and educational software were prepared for the ISMRM conference in Montreal, May 2011 (presentations #4686 and #4691 by Lars G. Hanson). Enjoy!
On April 29th 2011, Kathrine Skak Madsen succesfully defended her Ph.D. thesis entitled Brain microstructural correlates of behavioural and neuroendocrinological phenotypes. The thesis work involved diffusion tensor imaging studies of response inhibition and choice reaction time in typically-developing children and of negative emotionality and circadian cortisol patterns in healthy adults. Kathrine receives the degree from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Copenhagen. The supervisors were Terry L. Jernigan and William Baaré from the University of California, San Diego and the Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance. The Ph.D. comittee had Kristine Walhovd, Tomas Paus  and Kerstin von Plessen as members. The work was related to activitities in the HUBU and Cimbi projects. Congratulations to Kathrine!
I forbindelse med Forskningens Døgn åbnes MR-afdelingen på Hvidovre Hospital for en begrænset flok besøgende 28/4 kl. 15-16. Seniorforsker Tim Dyrby står for et arrangement med titlen "På rejse i den levende hjerne med MR skanning", hvor teknikken introduceres. Yderligere information er på Forskningens Døgns hjemmeside. I forbindelse med Forskningens Døgn er også udarbejdet undervisningsmateriale vedrørende MR-skanning og den relaterede teknik NMR til inspiration i eksempelvis gymnasiers fysik- og kemiundervisning. Undervisningsmaterialet af Lars G. Hanson har tilhørende software, som er frit tilgængeligt for brug og download.
Recently a serious MRI-related accident happened at the DRCMR. Some large equipment should be moved from the room that holds the department's experimental MR 4.7T scanner. The task required the use of a pallet lift and that the adequate safety distance from the magnet was respected. This distance was known and the procedure was tried in the past. The MRI screening form mentioning contraindications and examples of problematic items (including a pallet lift) was reviewed immediately prior to the incident together with the people hired to do the moving. It was signed by each of them. However, during the continued instruction, one of them left the group unseen and started on his own. He chose to turn a pallet lift in front of the magnet - BANG! 65 kg iron left the floor, and was now fixed to the magnet with a pull of approximately 400 kg. Fortunately no one…
A grant of excellence of 25 million Danish kroner has been awarded to professor Hartwig R. Siebner of the DRCMR for a project entitled "control of actions" (ContAct). The Lundbeck Foundation is providing this generous donation that will allow researchers in Denmark and abroad to explore the mental steps involved in performing actions, e.g. decision making, planning, and acting. Research has shown that this process can be quite different from the way that the brain consciously perceives it. Using methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), the new project will shed light on the complicated processes behind our conscious and non-conscious actions, in healthy conditions and during disease.  Press release in Danish and contact information:  25 mio. kr. til hjerneforskning på Hvidovre Hospital "Grant of Excellence" på 25 mio. kr. til professor Hartwig Siebner på Hvidovre Hospitals MR- afdeling vil styrke hjerneforskningen. Professor Hartwig…
The Danish Council for Independent Research has granted 2.3 million Danish kroner for a project on ludomania. The project is headed by professor Hartwig R. Siebner from the DRCMR and is entitled "Neural mechanisms underlying pathological gambling: A whole brain functional MRI study in patients with Parkinson's disease treated with dopamine agonists" . The project will be performed in cooperation with the Neurological Department at Bispebjerg Hospital and DTU Informatics.Ludomania is characterized by pathological gambling, mostly in the form of gambling for money, and have a negative impact on work and personal relationships. 7-8% of all patients with Parkinson's disease develops ludomania, when treated with dopamine agonists (DA). Game passion provoked by DA treatment provides a unique opportunity to study the increased dopaminergic stimulation by problem gambling. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) will be used to investigate Parkinson's patients with and without gambling addiction and a corresponding healthy control group. 
In a new research study, it is demonstrated that the primary brain area involved in hand movement (M1hand) decreases in size after a 4-weak period of hand immobilization, and that the size recovers after subsequent traning. Thus, even short periods of changed muscle and brain activity can cause brain shape changes in either direction. The findings suggest, for example, that if writing is stopped during school holidays, it may lead to temporary changes in brain structure.The group behind the study includes Hartwig R. Siebner from the DRCMR as last author. The research was conducted in connection with a treatment study for writer's cramp, which is a medical condition affecting the ability to control the finger muscles during writing. As part of the treatment, the affected hand was immobilized for 4 weeks and subsequently trained for an 8 week period. MRI scanning before the study and at week 4 and 8…
A new version of the award-winning graphical Bloch Simulator is released.It provides 3D visualization of spin dynamics during MRI and NMR sequences.  In contrast to earlier versions requiring tedious installation, the new version runs directly in a browser. It is consequently much easier to get started and is better suited for classroom use. The software is also available for download as a single file running on virtually all PCs. A link to a step-by-step introduction to the software is provided together with the software.
At the MedTech project day, October 2010, a number of DRCMR student projects were announced and presented (large file - be patient when you download). The projects are expected to start in 2011. Contact information and project descriptions are on the MedTech homepage. Let us know if you are interested in these or similar projects. On the DRCMR homepage you can also search earlier student projects, that may serve as inspiration for questions about new projects. 
As of August 1, 2010, Professor DMSc Hartwig R. Siebner took over the DRCMR departmental leadership after Professor DMSc Olaf B. Paulson , who recently celebrated his 70 years birthday. Hartwig was appointed head of DRCMR research earlier as first step of a smooth transition. Olaf continues at the DRCMR and is coordinating the 7T project. Congratulations to both!
Thomas Z. Ramsøy who is affiliated with the Copenhagen Business School and with the DRCMR has written a popular article in Danish on recent results on the role of emotions in economical decision making. The work was conducted by him and his group, and it will be presented at the upcoming Society for NeuroScience conference. Thomas is regularly commenting on neuroscience in his blog on Videnskab.dk.Over the summer, Thomas can also be heard on the Danish National Radio, P1,  in  a series of programs focusing on memory (in Danish).   
Can the performance of a person solving a task be improved by specific brain lesions? In certain cases that is indeed the case, e.g. when the lesion suppress an impulse that would normally make it difficult to solve the task. This was the focus of a study that has just been published in Journal of Neuroscience with contributions from the DRCMR research leader Hartwig R. Siebner. Real brain lesions caused by blood clots, for example, differ a lot, and they are not optimal for studying this aspect of brain function. The neuro scientists at Hvidovre Hospital and elsewhere, however, have an amazing tool called rTMS available for inducing temporary virtual lesions in healthy persons: By applying strong magnetic pulses to a particular part of the brain, the neurons there can be triggered repeatedly and be gradually exhausted, so they no longer respond to normal inputs. The effect only lasts for…
Daniela Balslev won the Young Investigator Award of the Magstim Summer School June 2010 in Oxford for her research combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) to understand the interplay between visual attention and eye position. Well done! Daniela recently moved for a position in Tuebingen, Germany, and she has announced a PhD-position in Cognitive Neuroscience.  
The annual course in MRI basic acquisition and analysis starts September 21st 2010 and runs weekly thereafter. Click for details and registration. The acquisition part of the course focuses on MRI basics using locally developed and internationally acclaimed material. The hands-on analysis part of the course is mainly based on the software SPM used widely in neuroscience communities.Please also note that a dedicated SPM course covering advanced topics is given mid september 2010.
We are hapy to learn that the MRI educational material on the DRCMR web pages is gaining popularity internationally:Introductory MR lecture notes aimed at a broad audience has recently been positively referenced in two Italian blogs (blog1, blog2, thanks!)A critical article adressing the basic understanding of Magnetic Resonance is getting considerable positive attention. It has also appeared as the first reference on the German Wikipedia entry on MRI for a year now. The subjects adressed in the article are topics of an invited tutorial at the MMCE Symposium in March 2011. This unsual meeting offers lectures that should be more didactic, even of philosophical nature, rather than being very technical. The aim of these lectures is to offer a kind of distilled wisdom that can potentially be far more attractive and beneficial to the audience than "regular" ones (quote from the Magnetic Moments in Central Europe website).A related classical introduction…