Brain Imaging. Non invasive techniques for the study of the physiological functionality: limits and perspectives. Brief introduction to NMR, TAC, PET, EEG, MEG, ECG, EMG, etc. Physiological signals: Evoking techniques, generation mechanisms, measurement and analysis techniques. Paradigmatic examples from recent literature will be studied. Introduction to data analysis and to the statistical analysis of experimental data. Physiological data will be provided to the students for the analysis, which will be the object of a written essay. Experiments from which this data is coming will be discussed in detail. This essay will be the fundamental basis for the final exam.
The course aims to provide the main physical understanding underlying biomedical imaging, in particular the brain imaging. It wants to train physicists to be aware of the importance of physics in understanding the functioning of the brain and in the procedures that allow brain imaging.
Furthermore, the course allows students to manipulate and analyze real data on brain functioning using advanced analysis software and writing their own software, and provides the necessary indications to produce a formally structured scientific work.
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING:
The student will be able to understand the techniques related to the field of physics of brain imaging and of medical physics through the studied examples.
The student will have a good knowledge of the state of the art through the study of important scientific works published in international journals. Finally, the student will receive the fundamental tools to deal with the analysis of a brain function measurement (i.e. electrophysiological measurements), using real data, and to write a structured scientific work.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING:
Students will be able to identify the essential elements of the relevant problems in the course topics. They will be able to adapt existing models to the experimental data provided and to know how to integrate, where necessary, the skills acquired in the understanding of the phenomena and techniques related to the course.
Students will be able to perform literature search, and select interesting materials, as well as to understand the responsibilities of project developing and management. These skills are acquired during the study and the preparation of the exams, delving into some specific topics also with the consultation of articles in journals.
The student will be able to understand and critically interpret the acquired knowledge, also identifying parts of his preparation that need further study.
The student must be able to express in a complete, clear, simple and concise way the knowledge acquired during the course, both to experienced people and to people who are not physicists. This aspect will be taken care of by dedicating the initial minutes of each lesson to the summary (and clarification where necessary) of what covered during the previous lesson, stimulating the students discussion.
The student will acquire the curiosity and tools needed to continue to develop the skills in the field of Physics and Medical Physics, in doctoral studies or other specialization schools. This learning ability will be solicited during class discussions, and evaluated during exams.