25 Sep 18. BRAINS Imagebank
Adam Andrew Garrow, a fourth year Neuroscience BSc (Hons) student at the University of Edinburgh, recently undertook a research placement working on the BRAINS Imagebank project, with the staff at CCBS.
What is BRAINS Imagebank?
The Brain Images of Normal Subjects (BRAINS) imagebank is a searchable, living database of images & clinical information across the human lifespan.
Adam tells us about the research involved in the project, and his knowledge gained from this experience:
"I recently undertook a research placement, working with staff in the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (CCBS); more specifically, with staff on the BRAINS Imagebank project.
The research involved using previously collected MRI scans from healthy volunteers to construct templates that provided a model of healthy brain volume across various age ranges, with one template being constructed for each chosen age range. Subsequently, we tested whether clinical professionals with experience of MR brain scans provided more consistent assessment of whole brain volume in individuals when using the templates as a visual aid. From this, we hoped to quantify any consistent improvements resulting from using the templates and further optimise said templates to improve clinical practice.
Testing took the format of two online surveys: The first phase asked participants to assess whole brain volume in various individuals, with four transverse slices of T1-weighted MR brain scans representing each individual. The second survey (released weeks after the first) involved performing the same assessment of these individuals, but also displaying a template respective to each individual’s age.
From working on this project, I obtained a greater understanding of neuroscientific applications, e.g. neuroimaging, within an academic context. I also improved my ability to conceptualise novel experiment designs and adapt them based on collaborative troubleshooting my colleagues and I conducted. Heavily utilising online survey design in this project taught me innovative methods to increase participation in future academic projects. I also gained insight into methods for optimising the presentation of images & text on a virtual platform such that participants found the testing coherent and accessible.
As the BRAINS Imagebank project continues, results from testing will be obtained shortly and I thoroughly look forward to the outcomes of this study as well as how this knowledge may be integrated into our broader understand of clinical neurosciences."
- Written by Adam Andrew Garrow, a 4th year Neuroscience BSc (Hons) student at the University of Edinburgh.