Garth Thompson’s research has focused on understanding the
neural and metabolic basis of resting state functional magnetic
resonance imaging (fMRI). Using fMRI, psychologists and
neuroscientists have located networks of regions in the brain (e.g.
left and right somatosensory cortex) which are synchronized even
without a task or stimulus (“resting state”). Such networks are
disrupted in psychological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease
and schizophrenia. However, application of these findings has
been limited due to a lack of understanding of their molecular and
neural mechanisms. Within the iHuman group, Dr. Thompson
plans to connect molecular mechanisms of brain function and
disease to macroscopic brain networks. If such a connection can
be made, the use of fMRI for drug development becomes feasible.