Dr Matthew Brookes
Title: Quantum Sensing the Brain
The field of neuroscience has been revolutionised by functional imaging – the ability to measure human brain activity whilst a person undertakes cognitive tasks. However, the current generation of methods such as magnetoencephalography (MEG) or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) relies on subjects lying very still within large, immobile systems. This has made it very difficult to scan individuals who find it difficult to keep still, such as children or elderly patients with movement disorders. It also limits the type of brain activity that can be evoked since people are restricted to claustrophobic scanning environments. Recently, rapid development of quantum sensors has enabled imaging physicists to conceive new types of brain scanning device which can be worn on the head, potentially allowing high fidelity neuroimaging data to be captured whilst a subject moves and interacts naturally with the real world. In this talk, I will introduce our recent work on this area, describing how optically pumped magnetometers can be used to construct a wearable MEG system.
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