Welcome to this new joint course in collaboration with ESMRMB – European Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology!

The course will be organized in cycles repeating every 2 years. Each cycle consists of 4 modules of 2 to 3 days each.

The aim of this course is to convey in-depth knowledge about functional MR imaging (fMRI) with a focus on clinical practice. This advanced MR neuroimaging technique is increasingly applied to the assessment of the healthy and diseased human brain and provides information about the brain’s activity. The course will offer an overview of present methodologies, functional neuroanatomy, and clinical as well as some research applications. These topics are taught using a mixture of lectures, practical data analysis sessions, and small group case discussions. Special attention is given to the interpretation of clinical cases, including results from both task-based presurgical fMRI examinations and more advanced resting-state fMRI studies.

Course organising committee:

ESNR: Sven Haller, Tarek Yousry, Johan van Goethem

ESMRMB: Marion Smits, Edwin Oei, Alexander Leemans


Fundamentals of fMRI

• Physiological principles of fMRI

• Blood oxygen level dependent contrast (BOLD) MRI technique and functional MR imaging sequences

• Task-based versus resting state fMRI

Functional Anatomy

• Motor system

• Language system

• Visual system

Experimental and Paradigm Design

• Technical set-up for clinical fMRI

Categorical, factorial, parametric designs

Blocked versus event-related paradigms

• Paradigms: development, implementation and pitfalls, Data Analysis

• Spatial preprocessing

• Statistical analysis for task-based and resting-state fMRI

Clinical application of fMRI

• Presurgical planning of brain tumour and epilepsy patients

• Applications in psychiatric and neurodegenerative disease

• Challenges and pitfalls of fMRI in clinical practice

Participation requirements:

The course is taught at the advanced level and builds on the ECNR as well as the ESMRMB School of MRI programmes. Participants are physicians with good knowledge of MRI techniques in a clinical neuroradiological context.