Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania

Center URL:
Core Personnel
Core Director: Timothy Roberts, PhD
Core Co-Director: Robert Schultz, PhD

Core Keywords

Core Description

The rationale for the Neuroimaging Core is that the revolution in neuroimaging technology - a landmark achievement of contemporary neuroscience research - enables the in vivo scrutiny of the brain of people with developmental disabilities with a hitherto inaccessible level of detail.  Such information profoundly alters our understanding of these disorders and is essential to the ongoing effort to improve the lives of people who are so afflicted.


  • Provide in children and adolescents quantitative structural, physiological and functional imaging
  • Provide in rodents analogous imaging capabilities by using hardware optimized to yield comparable anatomic resolution, thereby enabling translational interpretations in animal models
  • Utilize the technology of this core to develop and evaluate electrophysiologic and imaging biomarkers that better characterize the biologic basis of developmental disabilities
  • Utilize such non-invasive and physiologically-specific imaging and electrophysiologic indices to evaluate the efficiency of behavioral and pharmaceutical therapie
  • Assist users with regard to experimental design, imaging modality selection, quantitative image analysis and data interpretation

  • MEG - the focus is electrophysiologic assessment of brain function and connectivity, emphasizing temporal and spectral attributes
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging - the foci are: (a) structural assessment of brain volumes and grey matter/white matter distribution; (b) physiologic measurements, based on assessments of regional cerebral blood flow, water diffusion, microvascular characterization, and metabolic content; (c) white matter fiber tractography based on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI); and (d) functional brain mapping using BOLD fMRI
  • PET/CT - the focus of the unit is the use of positron-emitting species to (a) measure regional cerebral blood flow; (b) blood volume; (c) brain glucose and oxygen metabolism; (d) distribution and function of key neurotransmitter receptors and transporters; and (e) identification of salient pathologic features such as amyloid
  • Small Animal Imaging - the focus is (a) neuroimaging of animals with methods similar to those used in human studies, a goal being confirmation of animal models as valid surrogates for developmental disabilities; (b) establishing a correlation between the phenotype derived from animal neuroimaging and that drawn from immunohistochemical and/or histologic methods, the latter the "gold standard" of the underlying pathology

Last Edited: 01/13/11 12:00 AM by