fMRI Center for Neuroimaging

Neuroimaging Technology Resource Consultation Services. The CTRI has established a Neuroimaging Technology Resource consultation service with the UCSD Stress and Neuroimaging Laboratory (SNL: This CTRI-SNL collaboration provides consultation services to CTRI investigators planning to integrate neuroimaging methods into their research programs. The SNL is a multidisciplinary laboratory, which is under the direction of Scott C. Matthews, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD and Staff Psychiatrist at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System; Alan N. Simmons, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD and Research Psychologist at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System; and Irina A. Strigo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD.

Critical to any neuroimaging study is the identification of the most appropriate design and selection of optimal tasks. Consultation by SNL regarding these and other methodological issues related to neuroimaging research is available to all CTRI investigators. The SNL can also act as a liaison between the UCSD Center for Functional MRI (CFMRI) and CTRI investigators planning to collect neuroimaging data. Both structural and functional neuroimaging techniques are available.

Available structural brain imaging methods include:

  • magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI), which provides detailed information about brain anatomy
  • diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), which provides information about the integrity of white matter connections between various brain structures

Available functional brain imaging methods include:

  • functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which provides information about brain function during performance of carefully designed “tasks”, which probe processes relevant to the disorder or subject population of interest
  • positron emission tomography (PET) (not available at the CFMRI, but available at the UCSD Center for Molecular Imaging in Sorrento Valley, which provides information about brain metabolism
  • arterial spin labeling (ASL), which provides information about blood flow to specific brain regions

In addition to consultation regarding study design and data acquisition procedures, CTRI investigators can also utilize the SNL for analysis of sMRI, DTI, fMRI, PET and ASL data. Data analysis using well-validated analysis pathways and methods is provided at a rate of $100/hour.

Potential Neuroimaging Funding

As part of its Pilot Projects funding mechanism, the CTRI has developed a funding collaboration with the UCSD Center for Functional MRI (CFMRI). For CTRI pilot project proposals that include human neuroimaging, the CFMRI will support one scan hour (in the form of a pilot hour) for every two scan hours supported by the pilot project grant. Other details regarding the assignment and usage of these pilot hours will follow the policies of the CFMRI. This generous collaborative arrangement leverages additional research support for clinical, translational, and innovative technology pilot projects for CTRI investigators utilizing neuroimaging methodologies.

Please see the CTRI’s “Funding Opportunities” page for more information about Pilot Project grant opportunities

Coursework in Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

During the course of the academic year, the UCSD Center for Functional MRI (CFMRI) offers several courses in fMRI that are available to the UCSD community. For further information, see the following website:

Cerebral Blood Flow Biomedical Informatics Research Network

For investigators interested in tools to facilitate the acquisition, analysis, and sharing of cerebral blood flow (CBF) imaging data, the UCSD Center for Functional MRI (CFMRI) manages the Cerebral Blood Flow Biomedical Informatics Research Network (CBFBIRN). This NIH-funded project aims to collect and share CBF data acquired using a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based perfusion technique called arterial spin labeling (ASL). The overall goal of the project is to create a comprehensive database of CBF measures that will allow investigators to share, analyze, mine, and interpret cerebral blood flow measures from multiple studies and sites. The CBFBIRN provides several tools to facilitate the acquisition and sharing of CBF data. For further information, see the following website:

For inquiries and availability, please send an email to


CTRI/CFMRI Joint Symposium on Functional NeuroImaging

The Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) in collaboration with the Center for Functional MRI (CFMRI) hosted a one day Imaging Symposium on Monday, October 22, 2012. Nearly 200 people attended and the talks included:


Guest Speaker

New ways of doing fMRI (YouTube)

John Serences, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, UCSD

Methodological hurdles for studying memory with fMRI:

 the case of the medial temporal lobe (YouTube)

Christine Smith, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, UCSD

Can fMRI be used for Mind Reading? (YouTube)

Jesse Rissman, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, UCLA

Resting-state fMRI and the Human Connectome (YouTube)

Tom Liu, Ph.D., Departments of Radiology and Bioengineering, UCSD

This is your brain on drugs: What neuroimaging has shown us about how alcohol and drugs may alter adolescent brain development (YouTube)

Susan Tapert, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, UCSD.

Looking inside the sleeping brain with fMRI (YouTube)

Sara Mednick, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, UC Riverside

fMRI approaches to network connectivity in autism spectrum disorders (YouTube)

Ralph-Axel Mueller, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, San Diego State University

Functional brain basis of elite performance (YouTube)

Martin Paulus, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, UCSD

 The event was held in the Medical Education and Telemedicine Building on the UCSD campus from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Attendees were invited to tour the UCSD Center for Functional MRI at the conclusion of the meeting to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the Center.