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  • Oct 2019: A new Siemens PRISMA 3T MRI scannerwill be installed in early 2020. This is funded by an SFI Infrastructure Grant. See the announcments from Trinity

Imaging Interest Group

Join the TCIN Imaging Interest Group (IIG) mailing list to receive the latest notifications.

Meetings are at 1.30pm on Thursdays in the Visualisation Room of the Lloyd Building (LB 2.01) unless otherwise stated.

10 Oct 2019 Laura Finnegan The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Trinity College Dublin Manganese-enhanced MRI to asses optic nerve integrity in a mouse model of retinal degeneration.
4 Jul 2019 Judit Carrusta Centre for the Developing Brain, Kings' College London Early development of the brain functional architecture
6 Jun 2019 Oliviero Gobbo The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Trinity College Dublin Development of a mouse model of glioblastoma for the study of local treatments, post-resection
23 May 2019 Vyacheslav (Slava) Karolis FMRIB, Oxford Structural and functional architectures in brain development and ageing.

13 May 2019
TCIN Third FloorSeminar Room (joint with NeuroSoc)

Jonathan Smallwood Psychology, The University of York The neural basis of on-going conscious experience
9 May 2019 John Butler School of Mathematical Sciences, TU Dublin Contradicting Neural Unreliability Thesis in Autism: Embracing the Null Hypothesis with Confidence
7 May 2019 Johann Kruschwitz Volition and Cognitive Control, Dresden University of Technology Graph theoretical modeling of brain connectivity: Concepts and workflow of brain connectivity analysis using graph theory.
28 Mar 2019 Dara Cannon Medicine, NUI Galway Psychiatry and the Human Connectome: Diffusion MRI Research Advances
14 Mar 2019 Alan Stone Biomedical Engineering, Trinity College Dublin Progressing quantitative MRI towards the clinic: Application of novel methods for insight into atherosclerosis, stroke, tumor and traumatic brain injury
28 Feb 2019 (joint with below) Evie Regan MEng Biomedical Engineering, University College Dublin Investigating the Deformation of the Masseter Muscle during Teeth Clenching and Grinding" and Dr. Catherine Jordan, a GBHI and Atlantic Fellow at TCD will be presenting: 'An fMRI pilot study exploring the influence of personally meaningful music on mild Alzheimer's Disease
28 Feb 2019 Catherine Jordan GBHI and Atlantic Fellow at Trinity College Dublin An fMRI pilot study exploring the influence of personally meaningful music on mild Alzheimer's Disease
31 Jan 2019 Erik O'Hanlon Trinity College Dublin and RCSI Imaging. What have you done for me lately?? What can your data do for you?


MRI Scanners

For human imaging, we have a 3T MRI. The scanner will be upgraded to a Siemens PRISMA in early 2020. The new scanner has:

  • much bettter signal-to-noise ratio, as the signal is digitised close the participant's head
  • stronger gradients (80 mT/m rather than 40 mT/m) for much better signal during diffusion MRI
  • faster scanning through simultaneous multi-slice functional MRI and diffusion MRI
  • force-compensated gradients to reduce vibration and noise, and methods for quieter scanning

For animal imaging, we have a small-bore 7 T MRI. This has:

  • a resolution of down to 25 microns (that's 0.025 mm)
  • a cryocoil for high signal-to-noise
  • three gradient sets (200-1000 mT/m) that trade off the diameter of the useable bore

Major Scientific Directions

Our centre is engaged in a wide range of imaging research, including for example:

  • Infant development: The development of the brain and mind in infants, and how they can be disrupted in infants from the neonatal intensive care unit.
  • Childhood MRI: The development of the brain in childhood, with a particular focus on autism, ADHD and psychosis.
  • Aging: How the brain changes through the lifespan, and early markers of dementia.
  • Brainstem function: How lesions to the brainstem affect the rest of the brain, and resulting behaviour.
  • In-vitro imaging: Arterial tissue mechanics, vascular imaging, vascular mechanobiology

MRI Acquisition Methods

Our teams measure many aspects of the brain:

  • Functional MRI: The activity in the brain evoked when a person watches or listens to something, or does a mental task.
  • Functional Connectomics: The connections between different brain regions, .
  • Diffusion MRI: A way to trace the white matter that connects different brain regions - the brain's wiring.
  • Structural MRI: The anatomy of the brain.

We study many populations:

  • Young adults: Many of our studies are conducted in university students
  • Older adults: To characterise how the brain changes through the lifespan.
  • Infants and children: To study how the brain and mind develop.
  • Autism and ADHD
  • Psychiatric populations
  • Disorders of consciousness
  • Neuropsychological patients with lesions of the cortex or subcortical regions

Analysis Methods

We have expertise in many areas of analysis:

  • Structural morphometry: assessing changes in brain structure (e.g., cortical thickness, lesions)
  • Functional MRI: measuring changes in brain activity, using volumetric and surface-based analyses
  • Functional Connectomics: measuring the connections between brain regions by examing correlated changes in activation
  • Tractography: tracing the connective tracts that join brain regions
  • Multi-voxel pattern analysis: analysing the patterns of brain activity evoked by different stimuli or tasks, through representational similarity analysis and decoding methods
  • Machine learning: using machine learning methods to classify activity or structrual chanes in the brain
  • Deep learning: testing computational models of brain function


The MRI Management Committee designs strategy and policy at TCIN, and implements it. The current committee members are:

Rhodri Cusack (Chair)
Andrew Harkin
Arun Bokde
Ciaran Conneely
Christian Kerksens
Clare Kelly
Richard Reilly
Sojo Joseph
Rob Whelan
Cliona O'Doherty (Minutes)

Discounted Scanning Policy

Version 2018-11-20
1. Proposals for discounted scanning will be considered by the MRI Management Committee (MRI-MC) for the following:


Additional criteria used by committee 

Cost per participant 

Pilot projects

Will lead to a grant application that will pay for future MRI projects.


Technology development

Will create methods that will be shared with all other users and enhance our science.



A primary goal of the project is training (e.g., Masters projects)

3T scanner - €100/hour 

7T scanner - €50/hour 

2.  Incidental findings fee. According to TCIN SOPs, all participants will also have their scans read by a neurologist for incidental findings (unless they have had their MRI scan at TCIN read within the previous 6 months). This costs €50/participant, which will still have to be covered in all cases.

3. End of project report. At the end of your project - or within 1 year of the approval from the MRI-MC (whichever is sooner), you must give a 15 minute presentation to the Imaging Interest Group, describing the outcomes of your project, and submit an end of project form to the MRI-MC. 

4. To apply, you must

  • Give a 15 minute presentation describing your project, followed by 5-10 minutes discussion, to the Imaging Interest Group

  • Fill in the Discounted Scanning Proposal form.

5. To evaluate a proposal, the MRI MC will assess how busy the scanner is, how many previous discounts a PI has received, and the expected value of the outcomes.

Core Staff

Dr. Christian Kerskens, Principal MRI Physcist

Mr. Sojo Joseph, Radiographer

Directory of Users

Name Role Department Interests
Alan Stone Postdoc Biomedical Engineering, TCD Developing new MRI methods to quantify physiology in the human body and translating these methods into the clinc
Andrew Harkin PI Pharmacology, TCD Neuropharmacology, Animal models of CNS disorders, 7T imaging
Arun Bokde PI Psychiatry, TCD neuroimaging, neurodevelopment, depression, dementia
Bill Morrisey Group leader Glanbia Food additives and nutraceuticals with neuroprotective or enhancing effects on human cognition
Brain Lawlor PI GBHI, TCD Neuroscience of dementia prevention.
Brooke Tornifoglio Graduate student Biomedical Engineering, TCD DTI, quantitative measures,
Chiara Caldinelli Graduate student Psychology, TCD Infant neuroimaging
Christian Kerskens Physicist TCIN, TCD quantum coherence, quantum biology
Claire Gillan PI Psychology, TCD big data, psychiatry, prediction, habits, goal-directed control, antidepressant, machine learning
Clare Kelly PI Psychology and Psychiatry, TCD
task, task-free, & naturalistic viewing analysis, big data, techniques and methods, programming
Clíona O'Doherty Research Assistant Psychology, TCD Investigating how deep neural networks can help in Neuroimaging of the ventral visual stream
Connie Sanchez Morillo Group leader Alkermes Inc Diagnostics in pre-clinical and clinical cohorts
David Henshall PI Future Neuro SFI Centre Noise-sensitive cohorts including ADHD, Psychosis, Depression and Alzheimer’s Disease. Future planned work on blood-brain barrier dysfunction.
David Loane PI Biochemistry and Immunology, TCD Traumatic brain injury, chronic neurodegeneration, dementia, neuroinflammation, pre-clinical animal models
Declan McLoughlin PI St. Patricks University Hospital Clinical MRI in collaboration wth other European and American centres of excellence.
Eleanor Molloy PI Tallaght Hospital Consequences of neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy, characterised using resting state and functional MRI.
Feng Deng Graduate student Psychology, TCD brain mechanism, neuroimaging, machine learning/deep learning, computational modelling
Fiona Newell PI Psychology, TCD Cognitive neuroscience approach to research on multisensory perception in humans
Geraldine Boylan Director, PI INFANT Centre, UCC Characterising perinatal brain injury using structural, diffusion and functional MRI, and to develop deep learning algorithms to analyse infant MRI data (SFI-funded DELPHI project)
James Murphy Group leader Impact Gumshields Inc. Printed and machined MRI mouthmolds
Jane McGrath PI Psychiatry, TCD Precursors of ADHD in infancy
John Butler PI TU Dublin
Mathematical methods to model human perception and decision making, in healthy adults, and those with clinical diagnoses such as autism and dystonia.
Kathy Ruddy PI TCIN, TCD
Neuroimaging, EEG, Brain computer interface, stroke, MR-spectroscopy
Lorina Naci PI Psychology, TCD neuroimaging, cognition
Louise Gallagher PI Psychiatry, TCD
Childhood and adolescent psychiatry, and in particular autism and ADHD
Mani Ramaswami
PI Genetics, TCD
Homeostatic mechanisms that match inhibition with excitation are essential for habituation and memory silencing, both of contribute to multiple cognitive processes known to be altered in psychiatric conditions (e.g. autism and PTSD).We will utilise paradigms developed by collaborators in Oxford and Birmingham using similar scanners to investigate mechanisms, functions and dysfunctions of inhibitory homeostasis with funding from the Wellcome Trust and other agencies.
Mary Cannon
Developmental research programme in psychosis, (iHEAR ERC Consolidator).
Massimilliano Bianchi Director Transpharmation
Drug discovery in psychiatric (depression and schizophrenia) and neurodegenerative (Alzheimer’s, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Parkinson’s) diseases.
Matthew Campbell PI Genetics, TCD
Clinical research programmes in my lab that are focused on understanding the nature and etiology of repetitive mild traumatic brain injury on regulation of the blood brain barrier".
Megan Ni Bhroin Graduate student Psychiatry, TCD
I'm interested in the functional network architecture of neonate encephalopathy patients. I use rs-fMRI to measure the resting state networks and use graph methods to quantify the global structure of the brain. I also plan to investigate the linear association between the functional connectome and inflammatory markers.
Michael Hutchinson PI St. Vincent’s Hospital
Movement disorders especially the imaging of our noise sensitive cohorts in Dystonia and Multiple Sclerosis.
Michael Rowan PI TCD
Pathways in the brain affected in Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Nicola Taylor Graduate student Psychology, TCD
Disorders of consciousness, Covert consciousness, fMRI
Nigel Vahey Postdoc Psychology, TCD Addiction; impulsivity; habits
Owen Smith PI UCD, Research Lead for new National Children’s Hospital
Cutting-edge neuroimaging methods for infant and pediatric MRI in Dublin will provide an excellent foundation for powerful academic-clinical collaborations at the National Children’s Hospital, which will be Europe’s largest pediatric hospital when it opens in 2020.
Paul Dockree PI Psychology, TCD
MRI voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping, characterise lesions in stroke, TBI and tumour resection patients and how they related to dissociable aspects of sustained attention impairment.
Redmond O’Connell PI Psychology, TCD
Neural mechanisms of decision making. Decision making capabilities in several noise sensitive cohorts including ADHD, normal aging and dementia, work that will be greatly facilitated by the new low noise MRI scanner.
Rhodri Cusack PI Psychology, TCD
neurodevelopment; MRI acquisition and analysis methods
Richard Carson PI Psychology, TCD
human motor control; cognitive neuroscience; ageing; stroke; ALS
Richard O'Conaill Postdoc Psychology, TCD
Neurodevelopmental disorders, developmental cognitive neuroscience, clinical phenotyping, neural biomarkers
Richard Reilly PI Biomedical Engineering, TCD
electrophysiology and MR based imaging of movement disorders. Active implantable devies and neuroimaging based objective measure for their evaluation
Robert Johnston Graduate student Biomedical Engineering, TCD
Atherosclerosis, Arterial Structure, Computational Biomechanics, Diffusion MRI
Tim Lynch PI MMUH Rare diseases.
Veronica O’Keane PI Psychiatry, TCD
Interested in BOLD measurements, bt-ASL and spectroscopy and the enhancements the new scanner can offer in these areas will be particularly important.