This group is focused on the creation of a shared Multi-Modal Pediatric Neuroimaging facility at the University of Michigan, to be located at the Center for Human Growth and Development with shared access and investment from 4 departments at UM Medical School (Otorhinolaryngology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Radiology), the Department of Biomedical Engineering (College of Engineering), the Department of Psychology (LS&A), the School of Kinesiology, the School of Dentistry, the Center for Human Growth and Development, and the Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) Laboratory.
In the short-term, the creation of this facility will facilitate cutting-edge research on the brain bases of early perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and social development in healthy, clinical, and at-risk populations, including infants and pregnant women. We aim to take advantage of improvements in optical imaging, other neuroimaging modalities, and synergistic integrations that will greatly increase the scope and range of research that can be conducted on brain structure, function, and growth. Our current capacities for neuroimaging and translational links between basic research and clinical practice, involving collaborations across departments, schools/colleges, and research centers provide a solid foundation for Michigan to play a leading role in the continued development and emergence of new neuroimaging technologies and applications. Increasing our expertise in multimodal imaging and optical imaging in particular will facilitate research on both typical and atypical development, including autism and early hearing, speech, and language disorders, psychiatric disorders, the experience and management of pain, the adaptations during pregnancy, the organization and planning of movement, and infant brain health and monitoring -- problems ill-suited to fMRI and other imaging technologies already represented at UM. Unlike fMRI, optical imaging systems such as those that utilize fNIRS technology are small, quiet and portable, and thus well suited for research on these types of populations and research questions that are traditionally hard to investigate with fMRI, yet are essential to the study of human development and critical health outcomes.