Brain activity involves a complex interplay of biochemical and electrophysiological processes that must be supported by dynamic changes in cerebrovascular tone to supply oxygen and other metabolites. Although this neural-metabolic-vascular coupling is essential for the function of the brain, there is evidence that it changes with physical and cognitive development and is altered in a number of disease states. Our work combines multimodal neuroimaging data with the development of both top-down analysis and bottom-up biophysical models of the brain to provide new tools for quantifying these processes in the brain.
In this presentation, I will provide several examples of my lab’s work including applications of state-space biophysical models to quantify neural-metabolic-vascular coupling using concurrent multimodal brain imaging and fluid mechanical models of cerebral vascular tone and blood flow autoregulation. In this context, I will also discuss how these developments are being utilized in our ongoing collaborations with the Pittsburgh contribution to the NIH’s Human Connectome Project and towards understanding pediatric brain development.