Early Brain Development
One of the key topics of our research is to better understand early brain development. Through an integrated approach combining both structural (e.g., DTI) and functional (e.g., fMRI and resting state fMRI) brain imaging, we aim to peek into brain’s most complicated wiring process during the first years of life. The intricate relationship between brain’s structural development, functional growth, and behavioral improvements will be systematically studied. Moreover, the intricate interplay between genes and environment during this process will also be explored based on a twin study design. Finally, leveraging the understanding gained from normal brain development, the neurophysiological mechanism underlying various brain disorders with a developmental origin will be tackled, potentially helping early diagnosis and intervention.
Normal/Diseased Brain Functioning
Recently emerged functional connectivity technique proves to be a powerful tool to delineate the interaction pattern among brain’s various functional areas. Based on this tool, we are interested delineating brain’s organizational principles during resting state as well as its dynamics under different cognitive manipulation. Possible disruptions of the functional connectivity pattern under different pathological states will also be investigated.
Wei Gao, Assistant Professor. Radiology and BRIC.
UNC School of Medicine
Functional Brain Imaging Lab
Department of Radiology
& Biomedical Research Imaging Center