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Researcher biography

Research Interests

Magnetic Resonance (MRI) is a versatile technique that can provide important insights into the body non-invasively and without dangerous side effects with high spatial resolution. A/Prof Barth’s main interests are in the fields of MR method development for applications in neuroimaging with a focus on functional MRI and neurological diseases such as dementia and cancer, as well as cardiac MR.

  • Understanding brain activity using functional MRI: blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) functional MRI gives a good picture of neural activation and connectivity in the living human brain non-invasively. A/Prof Barth is particularly interested to identify small functional units of the brain, such as cortical layers and columns, in order to better understand brain function by developing very fast functional MRI techniques with the highest spatial resolution possible. Recently, he also addressed important neuroscientific questions such as memory consolidation during sleep and decoding measured functional signals (brain reading). He explored the possibilities of simultaneous acquisition of EEG and fMRI to examine the link between electrophysiology and BOLD task activity and large scale brain networks.
  • Ageing and dementia using MR Neuroimaging: Using high magnetic fields (3 and 7 Tesla) spatial resolution of images can be improved significantly. For example, very small venous vessels and small bleedings in the brain can be visualised using specific contrasts, namely susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI) and MR phase. The MR phase information can be used as a very sensitive disease marker, e.g. for tumor angiogenesis or iron accumulation in certain brain structures in Parkinson’s disease.
  • Cardiac MR: A new area of research is the exploration of cardiac MR at the ultra-high field strength of 7 Tesla and first results examining the anatomy and function of the human heart look promising.

Keywords: functional MRI, BOLD, 7 Tesla, Neuroimaging

Group Members

See the Barth Laboratory page for current group members.


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Find out more information on how to apply for a Research Higher Degree (MPhil or PhD) with the Centre. For all enquiries regarding research supervision, please contact  rhd@cai.uq.edu.au.