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Approved Research

Cognition across the lifespan

Principal Investigator: Professor Marvin Chun
Approved Research ID: 96012
Approval date: January 12th 2023

Lay summary

Human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research has now advanced to quantify the psychological traits and behaviors of individuals from their brain scans.   Such personalized, precision fMRI, validated with big data sets, is essential for neuroimaging to impact clinical practice and public health.  As a promising example to advance personalized fMRI's potential, we developed a brain-based general attention measure to quantify a person's attentional function from their fMRI scans.  Attention has a ubiquitous role in perception and cognition, and attention deficits are common in mental illness and as symptomatic of brain damage.  The goal of this proposal is to expand the brain-based general attention measure to the UK Biobank dataset.  We will further validate and improve our models to measure cognition, study the effects of aging, and test the impact of health challenges such as Covid-19.  As a long-term goal, our methods and models can advance the development of personalized fMRI, useful for behavioral assessment, with potential for clinical applications to quantify cognitive deficits such as ADHD, dementia, schizophrenia, and  trauma from brain scans alone,  like one would use a thermometer to measure fever or a monitor to measure blood pressure.  Brain-based biomarkers can facilitate diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.