Marek Bartoň, Masaryk University (Phd Student – ESR) – 1.3.2017 – 31.7.2017 (5-month long secondment)
Marek Bartoň was setting up the imaging protocol (in Tucson) for the WP1 - reading and writing tasks using words and non-words. The plausibility of the technical solutions and stimulus sets was tested during a few pilot scanning sessions.
The next activity concerned technical equipment for handwriting data acquisition and speech recording outside the MRI environment. This equipment was installed, tested and pilot recordings were sent to Brno for quality assessment. On the basis of the quality check outcome, the settings of the handwriting tablet and speech recording setup were finalized.
Data analysis of fMRI data was done. This dataset consisted of healthy young Czech subjects - measured in the Czech Republic prior to research stays in the US. It concerns handwriting and reading (words and non-words) tasks. The transfer of knowledge focused on the neurobiology of language with respect to interpreting such functional neuroimaging data (transfer of knowledge from the US - Dr Rapcsak to CR - M. Barton).
We continued with the finalization of a manuscript concerning visuo-motor integration during handwriting of single letters.
Patrícia Klobušiaková, Masaryk University (Technician) – 1.7.2017 – 30.9.2017 (3-month long secondment)
Patrícia Klobušiaková helped Marek Barton with setting up E-prime task for the WP1 (reading/writing). She also worked on setting up the imaging protocol in Tucson, and testing and adjusting technical equipment for speech recording and handwriting acquisition (WP3). Then she set up E-prime tasks for WP4 (visual processing). All tasks were tested and pilot data were checked and analysed.
She worked on fMRI exploratory data analyses concerning language regions connectivity in PD patients in comparison to healthy controls and also analysed pilot CoBeN data from the Czech Republic in order to ensure sufficient quality, the right settings and the accuracy of WP4 and WP2 tasks.
There has been transfer of knowledge (Dianne Patterson - US → Patricia Klobusiakova - CR) concerning a specific type of DTI data analysis - bidirectional probabilistic tractography, with an extensive feedback on improving this method and data pre-processing.
Patrik Šimko, Masaryk University (Phd Student – ESR) – 1.10.2017 – 31.1.2018 (4-month long secondment)
Patrik Šimko was setting up the neuropsychology protocol at the UoA (gathering the battery tests and norms) for all work packages and creating the manual for behavioural testing.
Another activity related to behavioural testing in which he was involved was the synchronization of the language batteries across the centres (specifically the generation of the words and non-words task).
He was also involved in creating the behavioural data database for the VBM analysis of PPA patients and HC. Similarly, he helped with the creation of the behavioural data database for the VLSM from post/stroke patients and HC.
During his stay, he learnt semi-automatic lesion segmentation in ITK-snap and manual segmentation using MRI-cron/FSL. Related to segmentation he manually segmented around 50 scans of post-stroke patients for the VLSM (WP1).
He also did 3 cognitive assessments with 2 PD patients and one non-fluent PPA patient.
Luboš Brabenec, Masaryk University (Phd Student – ESR) – 1.1.2018 – 30.6.2018 (6-month long secondment)
Monika Pupíková, Masaryk University (Phd Student – ESR) – 1.2.2018 – 30.6.2018 (5-month long secondment)
Krisztian Kocsis, Szegedi Tudomanyegyetem (Phd Student – ESR) – 22.8.2017 – 22.1.2018 (5-month long secondment)
During the exchange time period the secondee worked on the following items (augmented that more of them are still in progress, unfinished: those will be ready during the second exchange period):
1: A database of 1oo stroke patient's MRI scans were selected and created (research/clinical scans)
2: From various semi-automated lesion segmentation softwares, the ITK-snap software was first tested and done.
2b: The BIANCA (Brain Intensity AbNormality Classification Algorithm) built in FSL software was tested and particularly done.
2c: The research scans (with same parameters and high resolution) were manually segmented thus a database was created to use in any further analysis (comparing the efficacy of different methods e.g.)
3: Single subject VBM analysis was done on the new enrolled PPA patient's T1 images to identify atrophy (semantic and nonfluent variant).
4: Whole-brain VBM analyses were done to compare the PPA and healthy controls (age, gender matched) to identify the aphasia subtype -specific atrophy.
5: Freesurfer-cortical thickness analyses was begun, aiming to compare with the VBM approach
6: Voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping analyses began with the stroke lesion data