Author: Elisa Medeiros

Fumiko Hoeft wins the Samuel Torrey Orton Award

Each year, the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) acknowledges the achievements of leading researchers and practitioners in the dyslexia field, as well as those of individuals with dyslexia who exhibit leadership and serve as role models in their communities. These award recipients have done so much to advance the mission of helping all those who struggle to read.

The Samuel Torrey Orton Award is the International Dyslexia Association’s highest honor. The Award recognizes a person or persons who have:

  • Made a vital contribution to our scientific understanding of dyslexia, or
  • Significantly enhanced and advanced our capacity to successfully intervene and assist people with dyslexia, or
  • Expanded national and international awareness of dyslexia, or
  • Demonstrated unusual competence and dedication in service to people with dyslexia

Congratulations, Fumiko! This is a well deserved honor.

(Information courtesy of International Dyslexia Association)

Updated fees for MRI Block Scheduling.

BIRC recognizes it can be difficult to book scanner time during busy months, and many investigators would like to book blocks of time (three or more consecutive hours) to run multiple participants. We support this practice, but we also need to ensure the scanner is available to be utilized by all investigators. We ask that, if you are using a block scheduling system, you please cancel any available slots with a minimum of 14 days’ notice to allow other investigators the opportunity to schedule participants.

The following cancellation fees for block scheduling will become effective February 1, 2022:
>14 days' notice: No charge
8-14 days' notice: 25% charge
24 hours-7 days' notice: %50 charge
< 24 hours' notice: 100% charge

Please see https://birc.uconn.edu/researchers/rates-and-policies/ for additional information.

Brianna Kinnie Receives 2021 BIRC Excellence Award

The BIRC is pleased to announce the second annual BIRC Excellence Award, which highlights the achievements of a student, staff, faculty member, lab, or group who has made exceptional contributions towards advancing the goals of the BIRC as outlined in the Mission Statement:

  • To facilitate scientific discovery and theoretical and methodological innovation
  • To serve as an intellectual center for interdisciplinary basic and clinical research
  • To prepare graduate students and post-doctoral fellows for careers in academia and related fields
  • To provide undergraduate students with research experience and other educational opportunities
  • To disseminate scientific knowledge to the broader university community, relevant professional communities, and the general public
  • The BIRC Excellence Award is awarded on an annual basis at the end of each Fall semester. Awardees are selected by BIRC staff and confirmed by the BIRC steering committee.

Congratulations to our 2021 BIRC Excellence Award Recipient, Brianna Kinnie, B.S.! Brianna is a project coordinator supervised by Professor Fumiko Hoeft. Brianna coordinated recruitment and research activities for two R01 projects, contributed to undergraduate training, and provided coverage as a Technologist Assistant for clinical scanning, a significant source of revenue for BIRC.

Fumiko Hoeft and Colleagues Receive NIH U24 Grant

Five new research networks totaling $3.13 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health will allow investigators to refine and test key concepts that advance the study of emotional well-being.

Fumiko Hoeft, Sandra Marshall, and Crystal Park, in collaboration with UConn InCHIP, UConn Neag School of Education, and UConn Research, have just received funding for their NIH U24 grant exploring the underlying mechanisms of mind-body interventions and measurement of Emotional Well Being. Utilizing imaging resources available at BIRC, this project will illuminate the role of emotional well-being in mind and body interventions as both an outcome itself and as a mechanism in improving mental and physical health outcomes. (Grant U24 AT011281-01; NICHD, OBSSR, and ODP are co-funding partners)

In addition to UConn, the list of research networks includes University of Alabama, University of Wisconsin-Madison, UCSF, and University of Rochester.

For more information, visit UConn Today

More information about the scope of this grant can be found on the NCCIH Research Blog

 

 

 

BIRC Main Entrance Reopening March 22

Beginning Monday March 22, we will reopen our main entrance during regular operating hours.

We do ask that you continue to meet your participants and bring them directly to your testing room; the reception area will remain closed. The free-standing sign-in log currently located at the employee entrance will be moved to the main entrance, and there will be a second sign-in log on the radiator at the employee entrance for people who do not use the QR code/Location Log system.

We will continue to use PPE, social distancing, and established disinfecting protocols.

BIRC awarded CLAS equipment grant for EEG bundle

BIRC has been awarded a CLAS equipment grant for an “EEG Bundle” to be used with BIRC’s hdEEG system. This includes a combination of a Cedrus Stim Tracker and replacement of EEG caps.

The Cedrus Stim Tracker is a tool that accurately aligns the experimental stimuli presented and neuronal activity. While EEG purports to have excellent temporal resolution, it is only true if the experimental stimuli are generated and presented, and neural activity collected in sync. This is not as easy and automated as it should be; currently, even with the latest hdEEG systems, without a tool like the Cedrus Stim Tracker, as much as 30ms of variability is observed that can occur unpredictably and/or drift over time. This is an unacceptable large variability compared to the neural time-scale of a couple of milliseconds. Cedrus Stim Tracker tracks the precise onset and offset of various stimuli for every trial, and marks it directly in the EEG data file. This not only makes the researchers accurately analyze data and prevents “data smear”, but also facilitates data analyses by automating the tedious process of cross-checking and marking data manually. This is now becoming a necessary tool for all EEG experiments, especially those that require fine-grained temporal information, have multi-modal information (e.g. auditory and visual stimuli) delivered to the subjects, and eliminates the complexity and unreliability of other synchronization methods.

Ask a Brain Scientist!

In these free sessions, Prof. Fumiko Hoeft will engage with children about the intricacies of the brain. Children (and parents!) will learn about brain science on everyday topics, ask questions they might have, and get a glimpse into how research is done by a scientist.

For kids aged 8-13, but anyone with a child’s heart for learning is welcome!

Each session can stand on its own. When children attend all sessions, they will receive a Junior Neuroscientist certificate.

To register and for more information, please visit Haskinsglobal.org

This program is supported by UConn, UCSF, Haskins Laboratory, Yale University, Made by Dyslexia, and The International Dyslexia Association