What techniques do we use in the lab?

We use a variety of novel techniques in our lab, but two intriguing ones are functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and fast-scanning cyclic voltammeter (FSCV).

What is fMRI and what do we use it for?

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a noninvasive technique that allows us to observe areas of brain activation through blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) imaging. Since active neurons consume oxygen at a greater rate than inactive ones, blood flow increases to the active cells to ensure a steady oxygen supply. More so, because oxygenated blood is diamagnetic and deoxygenated blood is paramagnetic, the difference in magnetic susceptibility results in magnetic signal variation that can be observed with fMRI. In our research, we use fMRI to study the brain activity of research participants as they perform a variety of tasks to gain insight into decision making and cognition.

 What if FSCV and what do we use it for?

Fast scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) is a technique that we utilize to record live fluctuations of neurotransmitter levels in patients undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS) treatment for different neurological conditions at a high temporal resolution (100 ms scan rates). In FSCV, we apply dynamic potentials to a carbon-fiber micro electrode to drive redox reactions in neurotransmitters and measure changes in current from the redox reactions. Using machine learning to process the data, we can display a subject's fluctuating levels of specific neurotransmitters as they carry out decision making tasks.

 How do you join the lab?

If you're interested in joining the lab, send an email to Dr. Kishida here!