Joseph P. Culver, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Radiation Sciences

Neurosciences Program

  • 314-747-1341

  • 314-747-5191

  • 8225

  • 4515 McKinley, 2nd floor

  • culverj@WUSTL.EDU


  • Non-invasive optical measurements for both functional- and molecular- biological imaging

Research Abstract:

Our laboratory develops neurophotonic technology for mapping brain function in both humans and animal models. For application in humans we are developing a portable device for functional neuroimaging. We have developed diffuse optical tomography (DOT) instrumentation with improved performance characteristics, compared to traditional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS), that permits the use of high-density DOT arrays (Zeff et al. PNAS 2007). We have also developed a method for mapping functional connectivity (fcDOT) within the brain using correlation analysis that allows us to isolate functional maps using resting-state measurements (White et al. NeuroImage 2009). The fcDOT approach provides task-less mapping of brain function in populations that were previously difficult to research with either fcMRI or traditional DOT (e.g. neonatal intensive care, open scanning environments). Recently we presented the first DOT system capable of mapping distributed brain function and networks (Eggebrecht et al. Nature Photonics, 2014). The system was validate by imaging four hierarchical language tasks and multiple resting-state networks including the dorsal attention and default mode networks and comparing all of the data with fMRI from the same subjects. Our longest standing applied project is in mapping brain function in infant in the NICU (Ferradal et al. Cerebral Cortex 2015).

In parallel with our human imaging efforts we are developing a mouse equivalent measurement of functional connectivity using optical intrinsic signal imaging (fcOIS) - so as to link human fcMRI with mouse models of disease. Over the last five years we have been collaborating closely a number of faculty members of the department of Neurology to both develop the method (White et al. PLoSOne 2011) and also to apply fcOIS to mouse models of neurological disease - in particular we demonstrated a bi-directional relationship between functional connectivity and amyloid-beta deposition (Bero et al. J. of Neuroscience 2012) and network dependence to the loss of functional connectivity after stroke (Bauer et al. NeuroImage 2014). As an analogous tool to fcMRI, fcOIS has become a remarkably powerful and generalizable technique for elucidating fc disruptions due to pathology.

Selected Publications:

Last Updated: 4/20/2016 9:16:43 AM

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