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Approved research

Multi-Modal Analysis of the UK Biobank Neuroimaging Data

Principal Investigator: Dr Stamatios Sotiropoulos
Approved Research ID: 43822
Approval date: December 19th 2018

Lay summary

Neuroimaging data can provide unique ways to probe the brain tissue microstructure and brain network connections. However, such data do not directly provide quantifiable information. A number of computational frameworks for image processing and analysis need to be applied to raw data in order to extract quantities of interest and biological relevance. We will develop novel ways for performing such analysis in order to extract summary features from different neuroimaging modalities, complementary to what is currently provided by the UK Biobank data releases and the existing image processing pipelines. The aimed quantities of interest are measures that characterise tissue structure and also measures that characterise white matter connectivity, which allows information transfer within the brain. We will then exploit the complementary nature of different imaging modalities to better understand the associations between non-invasive structural/ functional imaging measures to measures of lifestyle, behaviour and future health outcomes. Using data at the population level, such as the UK Biobank neuroimaging data, and exploratory approaches will allow us to develop tools that aid identification of imaging-derived signatures of both brain function (normal behaviour) and dysfunction (due to pathology and mental health disorders). Building up on local expertise and infrastructure in Nottingham (for instance the Institute of mental health, the Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, the Nottingham Arthitis Research UK Pain Centre), we will particularly aim to explore the interface between physical and mental health, as this is depicted by imaging signatures. This would allow us to establish imaging markers of susceptibility to chronic disorders, but also explore how chronic pain or chronic distress due to hearing loss/tinnitus are linked to mental health and neurological disorders.