1.5 CE Credits
Erin Bigler, Ph.D.
Some form of brain imaging is routinely performed on most patients that are seen by neuropsychologists. Neuroimaging is considered a foundation area of study and training for neuropsychologists. This webinar will cover the common neuroimaging modalities of computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) and their relevance to clinical neuropsychology. The basis for understanding neuroimaging begins with neuroanatomy and neuropathology, which will be covered. Anatomical identification across the different imaging modalities will be overviewed followed by a very practical approach showing how neuroimaging findings may be integrated with neuropsychological assessment. Neuroimaging findings in common disorders as seen by neuropsychologists such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, neurodevelopmental disorders, aging and neurodegenerative disease will be highlighted. Methods of quantitative neuroimaging, especially automated techniques like FreeSurfer will be overviewed. The webinar will conclude with a discussion of the role of advanced neuroimaging techniques like functional MRI (fMRI) and the development of standardized cognitive probes, use of fMRI techniques in assessing resting state functional connectivity mapping combined with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) that permit assessment of network functioning in neuropsychology.
After the webinar, participants will be able to:
- Describe the differences in technology that generate computed tomographic (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and radiotracer-based tomography [single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) or positron emission tomography (PET).
- Assess basic neuroanatomy from viewing CT, MRI, SPECT and/or PET imaging studies.
- Explain the basics of neuropathological findings from viewing CT, MRI, SPECT and/or PET imaging studies.
- Apply neuroimaging decision making skills relevant to integrating scan findings with neuropsychological assessment and cognitive/neurobehavioral outcome in disorders like traumatic brain injury, stroke, demyelinating disorders, developmental syndromes, ageing and degenerative diseases.
Target Audience:Clinical neuropsychologists or Ph.D. students in training
Instructional Level:(Intermediate-to-Advanced) The presentation will assume some formal prior training in neuroanatomy and pathoanatomical correlates for the major neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders
About Erin Bigler, Ph.D.
Erin D. Bigler, Ph.D. holds the Susa Young Gates Chair as Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Brigham Young University (BYU) where he served as Chair of the Psychology Department for over six years (1996-2002). He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Utah. He was formerly a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Texas, until he returned to Utah in 1990 to assume his current position. In 1977 at the University of Texas at Austin he established the clinical neuropsychology subspecialty training program that continues to this day and in the early 1980’s at Austin also established the Brain Imaging and Behavior Laboratory, which he brought with him when he came to BYU. The Brain Imaging and Behavior Laboratory has played a key role in numerous multisite collaborative studies providing quantitative neuroimaging analysis. His research has focused on the interface between neuroimaging findings and methods of analysis in the study of cognitive and neurobehavioral outcome associated with a variety of disorders including traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease and related neurodegenerative disorders and neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and learning disability. He served as President of the National Academy of Neuropsychology from 1989-1990 and later in 1999, received their Distinguished Clinical Neuropsychologist Award. In that same year, he was also the recipient of the Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Award, Brigham Young University's top faculty honor.
Dr. Bigler has authored and developed several neuropsychological tests, published 90 book chapters, and authored and/or edited 9 textbooks—most recently as one of the coauthors of Muriel Lezak’s Neuropsychological Assessment – 5th Edition. He has also authored/co-authored and published over 270 peer-reviewed articles in neuropsychology, neuroimaging and cognitive neuroscience.
Currently, Dr. Bigler is the President of the International Neuropsychological Society (INS) where he previously served as Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors for many years. He was the inaugural Associate Editor for the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society (JINS) and served in that capacity for 11 years. He is the founding Associate Editor of the journal Brain Imaging and Behavior and likewise serves as an Associate Editor for Neuropsychology along with several other editorial boards. He has been a licensed psychologist since 1975, practicing in the area of clinical neuropsychology, and holds a Diplomate from the American Board of Professional Psychology with special competence in clinical neuropsychology. He has trained over 125 doctoral students in his nearly 40 years as a professor. Recently, Dr. Bigler was appointed the Director of BYU’s new MRI Research Facility which houses an on-campus Siemens 3Tesla magnetic resonance scanner.
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