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The Neuroimaging Research Group of the Department of Psychiatry at UMC Utrecht studies structural and functional brain maturation in humans throughout life, in health and diseases such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, ADHD, and autism.
 
Studies are aimed at finding genetic and environmental markers of variance in brain structure and function over time. We aim to unravel (patho)-physiology of brain plasticity of human brain throughout life.

We develop and implement Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) brain scan protocols and processing pipelines. Scans are being acquired for this purpose on the 1.5T, 3T and 7T scanners at our hospital on a daily basis. Processing pipelines exist for volume quantification, DTI, resting-state fMRI, BOLD fMRI, TMS-fMRI, and functional DTI.
 
Cohorts of healthy subjects, patients with psychiatric disorders, and their family members, including monozygotic and dizygotic twins and singleton siblings are followed longitudinally at a 2-5 year interval. To date, the continuously growing database consists of over 3000 MRI brain scans.

The Neuroimaging Research Group is based in the Psychiatry Department, Neuroscience Division, of the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), The Netherlands. It is also part of the Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience (RMI), which encompasses many research groups from the UMCU as well as from the Utrecht University.

New findings:

  • White matter fibers connect regions within resting-state functional networks (van den heuvel et al HBM, 2009)
  • Activity along white matter fibers during cognitive processing using is now possible using functional diffusion tensor imaging (Mandl et al, Plos-ONE, 2008)
  • Progressive brain volume changes in schizophrenia are heritable (Brans et al, Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2008)