Robin W. Wilkins, Ph.D.
Network Neuroimaging Lab
The Network Neuroimaging Lab is located at the Gateway MRI Center and Joint School for Nanoscience and Nanoengieering at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro NC. Our research centers on the application of network-based statistical techniques (graph theory) to in vivo complex neurobiological systems using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI )and Electroencephalography (EEG )data.
With a specific focus on interdisciplinary brain research, our investigators examine how the brain connects as a complex system. We study how brain networks are affected by responses to music, apply our theoretical ideas and principles to our experimental work, and examine how brain networks are altered from different types of intensive skill training, such as those useful to other cognitive domains and in mind-machine-motor control.
Wired for Music:Training opportunities
To learn network neuroscience methods and multimodal neuroimaging techniques, including the hands-on skills, are provided through lab apprenticeships. For pictures of training and the summer intensive, see our Pictures from Training page. Apprenticeships are held as part of degree programs during the school year and in the summer. Apprenticeships include independent MRI scanner operation, fMRI data processing skills, resting-state or functional connectivity data processing, and network-based graph theory statistical procedures and analyses.
Training opportunities are held for graduate students through campus-based degree programs during the academic year. During the summer, the lab offers short and comprehensive intensive training workshops for visiting graduate students from overseas and U.S. based institutions who desire to learn how to perform brain networks and neuroimaging research. The lab has a particular focus on providing training for graduate students who have musical degrees or professional-level musical knowledge. The lab provides a comprehensive set of training experiences, including hands-on skill instruction, in an effort to broaden the interdisciplinary field within the network neuroscientific community.
Network Neuroimaging Laboratory
Brainnex: Training in Networks and Neuroimaging
Graduate students in music may learn research techniques. Our lab looks to more accurately understand how musical experiences may affect structural and functional networks in the human brain.
Joint School for Nanoscience and Nanoengineering - Network Neuroimaging Lab for Complex Systems
Gateway MRI Center
The lab promots hands-on educational opportunities for learning about how to perform brain networks research to musically-trained individuals. T
his NetSci Ed cohort includes pre-college students from Southwest HS in Guillford County NC, along with AP biology teacher Michelle Lovett and Dr. Bob Kraft, MRI physicst and Director of Data Processing for Gateway MRI Center. This year's cohort includes former undergraduates in biology and Dr Dan Herr, Dept chair in nanoscience, from JSNN. The NetSci program supports endeavors for learning about network science and technical skills using fMRI data. For more information on NetSci Ed, please click the text here.
In 2014, the lab and Gateway Research Park hosted a custom-designed Multimodal Imaging workshop and course in collaboration with Drs. Robert Savoy, Blaise deB Frederick, Sue Whitefield-Gabrielli (CONN tool box) and Alison Stevens-Player (freesufer) This picture is of Sue providing her expert instruction on network connectivity analyses through the application of her Connectivity Tool Box CONN. For more infomation about our multimodal courses and workshops, click here. For more information about the CONN tool box click here.
Mikayla Slomski, a former pre-college student, is presently at NC State University majoring in mechanical engineering. Mikayla did her senior research project through the lab and was our first NetSci student.
During the Multi-Modal Neuroimaging Course, Dr. Robert Savoy Harvard/MIT/MGH and Dr. Blaise Frederick of McLean Hospital in Boston MA and Dr. Robert A. Kraft MRI Physicist from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center offer their expertise to us at our MRI scanner. Students represent Quatar, Columbia University and UT Dallas.
Dr. Daniel C. Herr, Department Chair of Nanoscience, gives the lab a tour of the JSNN technology and new techniques.
Students Bethany, Avery, and Sebastian presenting their research results.
The lab provides graduate student training for how to operate a 3 T Siemens Tim Trio MRI scanner for independent data collection of fMRI data. Students learn how to design and perform their own fMRI experiments and how to apply network neuroscience methods and techniques for brain connectivity and complete network neuroscience analyses.
Students in the lab experience a concentration in learning functional and structural neuroimaging and instruction in fMRI data processing techniques. The lab also provides training sessions in network neuroscience research including data processing techniques, scientific dissemination opportunities, and scientific writing skills (articles, posters, and podium talks), and on-site workshops in network neuroscience techniques for brain imaging science. Students receive instruction in brain anatomy, brain function and current neuro-psychological research results about the effects of acoustic stimuli and effects of musical experiences and musical training on the brain.
Oak Ridge Military Prep Academy Cadets Visit the lab during the Spring. Cadets observe experimental brain research and learn about how network science methods can help us understand the complex system of the brain
The lab also provides training in scientific presentations skills and techniques. Above is Dillon doing a peer-reviewed practice talk in preparation to give a talk on his research study for the NetSci Showcase at JSNN in 2016. Below are Sebastian Sanchez, Bethany Sanov and Avery Sanov when they were announced winners for both the county and regional science fairs.
Cadets from Oak Ridge Military Prep Academy participate in MRI brain science as research assistants and volunteers while experimental brain imaging data is being collected.
The Laboratory for Complex Brain Networks at Wake Forest University School of Medicine is Dr. Wilkins former lab where she received her network science and neuroimaging training. Special thanks to Drs. Paul Laurienti and Jonathan Burdett for their expert mentorship at LCBN. Click the ICON to view more information.