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Imaging Brain Development

Jonathan  O'Muircheartaigh

Jonathan O'Muircheartaigh

Sir Henry Dale Research Fellow

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My work is focused on charting post-natal brain development, as seen through the lens of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). I use quantitative MRI and computational statistics to describe how both brain anatomy and connectivity change over infancy and throughout childhood, and map individual differences in this development to cognition. Using these computational anatomy approaches, we can better describe how the development of specific regions of the brain can be altered in neurological conditions, especially childhood epilepsy, as well as autism spectrum disorder, where epilepsy commonly co-occurs. The common factor in individuals with both epilepsy and autism is that they are indeed individuals. The point of this work therefore is to move away from making inferences about groups, but instead start making inferences on what is different in an individual brain, something more relevant in highly heterogeneous conditions like epilepsy and ASD.