Interdisciplinary Initiatives Program Round 4 – 2008

Tirin Moore, Neurobiology
Kalanit Grill-Spector, Psychology

The goal of this project is to establish methods by which to conduct functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in behaving monkeys, and to bridge data of visual attention across monkey and humans. With these methods, we would subsequently be able to study the distributed neural mechanisms supporting visual attention. As this project is largely focused on methods development, work has been geared primarily toward the design, acquisition and construction of equipment and purchase of candidate pilot experimental animals. In this no-cost extension year, we have completed the design and construction of the MR-compatible monkey chair as well as the construction and setting up of the mock MRI environment, which allows for the training of experimental animals for alert fMRI scans. Funding from Bio-X has allowed us to complete the instrumentation necessary to proceed to the experimental stage.  In parallel, we have done meta analyses comparing data on visual cortex across species (human and monkey) and developing data analyses methods for fMRI of distributed visual field maps that are necessary first steps for linking results across species.