The Computer Vision and Imaging Analysis Laboratory (CVIAL): The CVIAL group in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) includes several faculty members from ECE and collaborators from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, as well as the TTUHSC School of Medicine. CVIAL faculty have been playing a crucial role in analyzing and visualizing the fMRI data acquired for investigation of human brain function during a variety of cognitive tasks. The CVIAL group also conducts research in a number of neuroimaging related areas ranging from image acquisition and signal analysis to data compression techniques and the development of fMRI simulators, to investigate the feasibility faster and higher resolution MRI and fMRI data acquisition.
The Autumn’s Dawn Neuroimaging, Cognition and Engineering (NICE) Lab: The Autumn’s Dawn NICE Lab is a funded via collaboration between the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. The lab is currently focused on autism research and is also investigating the brain correlates of exceptional cognitive abilities (as in math giftedness). Another area of interest is examining connectivity models of cognition, particularly the neural activation patterns associated with learning styles in expert versus novice thinking.
The Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research: The Burkhart Center in the College of Education is focused on the understanding of the bio-behavioral mechanisms underlying autism spectrum disorder. The Center is also dedicated to the training of the next generation of special education teachers, using research to inform best practice in terms of preparing individuals with autism to achieve academic and vocational goals, along with the acquisition of various life skills. Currently, investigators from the Burkhart Center and the Autumn’s Dawn NICE Lab are engaged in collaborative research using neuroimaging techniques to explore the brain mechanisms associated with autism, as well as attempting to assess the effectiveness of various rehabilitative and therapeutic approaches to autism.
South Plains Alcohol and Addiction Research Center (SPAARC): SPAARC faculty from the TTUHSC School of Medicine and Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience are currently engaged in various collaborative projects using neuroimaging techniques to investigate the impact of alcohol on brain function, particularly in college age binge-drinking students.
The MIND Research Network, Albuquerque, New Mexico: Discussions have been held with researchers from the MIND Institute regarding the development of a shared database, comprised of neuroimages obtained from numerous studies conducted at various Universities and Imaging Centers involved with the MIND Network (including the TTNI). This database will provide data mining opportunities and subsequent funding collaborations among various members of the MIND Research Network and TTU researchers.
National Alzheimer’s Disease Imaging Centers: The TTUHSC School of Medicine is currently pursuing an association with the NIH National Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Centers Program. Participation in such a program requires state of the art neuroimaging capabilities of the very type provided by the proposed TNI, and thus would virtually ensure research collaborations between the TNI and other participating Centers both nationally and internationally.
University Hospital, University of Madrid, Spain: Informal discussions and interactions with researchers from the University of Madrid, have laid the ground work for potential international collaborations with the TTNI.