Realtime Brain Mapping

Kevin Spencer kspencer at
Thu Nov 21 19:35:54 EST 1996

Nigel Goddard <ngoddard at> writes:

>We provided the first demonstration of online mapping of cortex 
>two days ago at the Supercomputing 96 conference in Pittsburgh.
>While our subject was in the MRI scanner at University of Pittsburgh
>Medical Center, the Cray T3E at Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
>analyzed the data - taking 2 minutes to reconstruct and register
>3.5 minutes of scanner data - and an SGI Onyx on the conference floor
>visualized the results.

So you acquired a functional scan and registered it on an anatomical scan?


>I am interested to know how clinicians might employ this technology
>if it were routinely available.  Our motivation for developing this
>capability has been to open up new dynamic experimental modes for
>cognitive neuroscientists, but now that we have it there would seem
>to be clinical applications.

I'm curious as to what applications might be envisioned for researchers.
I use ERPs and EEG in my research, and while those data can be viewed
on-line, there's not much to do with the data that's interesting until
it's off-line and can be analyzed in various ways.

I should add that we're currently working on a brain-computer interface
for disabled persons, which will use on-line ERP analysis methods.  That
sort of thing is about the only reason for doing on-line analyses that
I can think of right now, but who knows...

Kevin Spencer
Cognitive Psychophysiology Laboratory and Beckman Institute
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
kspencer at

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