2013 News and Announcements

November 27, 2013|
Western imaging research improves MS diagnosis

A new study from the Robarts Research Institute has found a better way to use MRI scans to detect and possibly follow the progress of multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases. CTV News Story - Here
Medical News Today - Here

November 19 2013 | Western News
Western researchers explore links between learning disorders in children
New interdisciplinary research from Western University has uncovered fundamental links among three major learning difficulties in some school-age children. Although many children have specific problems with dyslexia, specific language impairment and dyscalculia, this study is the first to show a significant portion of these children have overlapping deficits. Importantly, the research team has also devised a 10-minute screening test that could be administered broadly in primary schools to identify children at risk for the different disorders. Read More - Here
Read Article in PLoS ONE - Here
You can watch the CTV News Story - Here.

November 18 2013 |
Abnormal brain activity points to damage in former players
Researchers at Imperial College (London, U.K.) and Western's Brain and Mind Institute have teamed up to study brain injuries in former National Football League (NFL) players. Read More - Here

October 31 2013 | BMI Announcement
Western University neuroscientist investigates why humans sleep
As North America prepares to turn its collective clocks back an hour this weekend, consequently gaining an hour of sleep, a neuroscientist at Western University is investigating one of the dominant hypotheses that would explain the unsolved mystery of why humans sleep. Read More - Here

October 28 2013 |
Understanding relationship between iron and MS

New research led by Dr. Ravi Menon at Western University is providing greater understanding of the critical role that iron deposits in the brain play in multiple sclerosis. You can read more at CTV News or Science Daily.

October 28 2013 | Maclean's
Dr. Grahn is interviewed for an article on the power of musical rhythm in "The New Brain", a Special Edition of Maclean’s Magazine. "In The New Brain, Maclean’s best writers examine the most intriguing ideas about the body’s most complex organ. Once the domain of philosophers, phrenologists, priests and psychiatrists, the brain is now being scrutinized by some of the finest scientific minds of our times. From Alzheimer’s and ADHD to autism and post-traumatic stress disorder, The New Brain is the definitive guide to some of the world’s most prominent medical mysteries." In an article entitled, "Let the Rhythm Take Control", Dr. Grahn comments on the possible origins of the special musical abilities in humans, and how music and language may have evolved together. She also discusses the role of music in infancy. The New Brain is available online (LINK HERE) or at newsstands now.

October 26 2013 | The Globe and Mail
The root of the problem: This is your brain on math
Take a look at this recent Globe and Mail story about research in Daniel Ansari's lab which is measuring the relationship between brain activity in children's brains and their ability to solve simple arithmetic problems.  As PhD student, Anna Matejko, explains, "This work will one day help us understand where individual differences in mathematical ability come from."
Globe and Mail story - Here

October 25 2013 | CBC Radio Spark
The Treachery of Images
Jody Culham did an interview with Nora Young on CBC Radio1's Spark program.  She discussed work done in collaboration with Jacqueline Snow (former postdoctoral fellow, now a professor at the University of Nevada Reno) on how real objects differ from photographs.  You can listen to the interview  - Here

August 21 2013 |
Why do we forget?
The Director of the US National Institute of Mental Health, Tom Insel, just identified an opinion paper recently co-authored by scientists at Sick Kids Hospital and BMI researcher Stefan Köhler as a major advance in understanding the neural basis of forgetting.
Check out his blog - Here

August 13 2013 | BMI Announcement
Research looks to communicate with coma patients
With the help of fMRI, behaviourally nonresponsive patients can use selective auditory attention to convey their ability to follow commands and communicate.
More - Here
July 2 2013 | Western News
Western team wins brain mapping hackathon
A team of researchers, fuelled predominantly by Western's Brain and Mind Institute, won top prize in the Hackathon at the annual meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping last week in Washington.
Read more - Here
May 29 2013 | BMI Announcement
Clarke Road Grade 10 Student off to Brain Bee
Coming off a recent win at the London Brain Bee, Clarke Road Secondary School student Melanie Colvin is preparing to duke it out with some of the best brains in the country during the Canadian National Brain Bee at Hamilton’s McMaster University. Read More - Here
May 21 2013 | BMI Announcement
MRI Research Technologist Needed
The Brain and Mind Institute at Western University (also known as the University of Western Ontario) in London Ontario is seeking an MRI Research Technologist to assist with MRI (particularly fMRI) data acquisition and analysis.  At the moment the position has term temporary full-time status until Dec. 2013, but incoming funds are anticipated to enable us to convert the position to full-time permanent status. 
May 3 2013 | BMI Announcement
Mel Goodale elected a Fellow of the Royal Society
On 2 May 2013 the Director of the Brain and Mind Institute, Dr Melvyn Goodale, was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society. Congratulations Mel. Read More - Here

Apr. 30 2013 |
Analyzing brain activity in near real time
Jingyun Chen, Jinhui Qin, Rhodri Cusack and Mark Daley demonstrated their real-time graph theory based neuroimaging platform at an IBM media event in Toronto. Dynamic graph representations of the subject's brain activity were projected live in Toronto -- in real time -- as the subject was in the 3T magnet at the CFMM in London.
Apr. 22 2013 |
2013 London Brain Bee
On Saturday April 6, 2013 The Brain and Mind Institute hosted high school students in the London and surrounding area from grades 9 through 12 to compete in the 2013 London Brain Bee. Students demonstrated their knowledge about the brain and neuroscience. Full Story
Apr. 1 2013 |
Daley and the Science Leadership Program
Mark Daley has been invited to participate in the Science Leadership Program being held May 2-4, 2013, at the University of Toronto. Only 8 people outside of U of T were chosen from across Canada to be SLP Fellows. Congratulations Mark!
Mar. 26 2013 |
Is “home” a concept or a reality? A place to begin from or a place to return to? Is home where the heart is or wherever you say it is? From our home planet to most intimate interactions in home life, TEDxWaterloo 2013 is chasingHOME and what happens when it is lost and found. Jessica Grahn will be speaking Wednesday, March 27th.

Mar. 25 2013 | BMI Announcement
Canada-Israel Symposium on Brain Plasticity, Learning, and Education
The symposium will take place at Western University from June 14 to 16, 2013. Both Canada and Israel have a number of groups that are investigating issues related Brain Plasticity, Learning and Education.
Mar. 15 2013 | BMI Announcement
Prof. Tutis Vilis has just published an e-textbook for medical students.
"My Brain Notes for Medical Students" went on sale in the iTunes bookstore March 15, 2013 for the iPad. If you like it, please rate it and add your review on iTunes.  Prof. Vilis would also would appreciate your comments on things to add to the next edition: What do you think is the most important thing your doctor should know about the brain? View - Here

Mar. 1 2013 | BMI Announcement
Delusions of Identity in Alzheimer’s Disease
Dr. Stefan Köhler, faculty member in the Department of Psychology and a principal investigator in Western’s Brain and Mind Institute, just received Research Grant of the Alzheimer Foundation London and Middlesex to support a research project that addresses cognitive impairment that can be caused by dementia. Full Story

Feb. 26 2013 | Western News
Dr. Tutis Vilis receives Queen's Jubilee Award
Congratulations to Dr. Tutis Vilis, scientist/professor and civic activist. For over two decades, Tutis has been an active Director leading the Masonville Residents Association, in addition to serving on the executive of the Urban League of London for over a decade. He has coordinated community activities and made a valuable contribution to citizen engagement. 
Feb. 25 2013 | BMI Announcement
Blind brain engages "visual" pathways when identifying object shape using echoes
A new study by Jennifer Milne, a PhD student, and colleagues from The Brain and Mind Institute at Western University in London found that the areas of the brain that use the echo-based cues about an object's shape are also located in the same region of the brain activated by visual cues for shape in a sighted person.
Paper in Neuropsychologia Journal - Here  Listen to Jennifer Milne - Here
Feb. 14 2013 | Child Encyclopedia
Cognitive Stimulation (Executive Functioning)
J Bruce Morton and graduate student, Katie Knapp, edit the development of Executive Function on the on-line 'Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development'. Read More
Feb. 13 2013 | Western News
Blind brain receives "visual" cues for identifying object shape

A significant number of blind humans, not unlike bats and dolphins, can localize silent objects in their environment simply by making clicking sounds with their mouth and listening to the returning echoes.
Read More
Feb. 8 2013 | The Globe and Mail
"Better living through telepathy?"

Will humans someday communicate by thought alone?
Read Article
Feb. 7 2013 | BMI Announcement
Announcing Cattell Fund Fellowship recipient

For the 2013-2014 academic year, one of three Cattell Fund Fellowship recipients is Stephen G. Lomber, a Professor of Physiology and Psychology at the Western University in London, Ontario.
Read More

Feb. 7 2013 | BMI Announcement
BMI Researchers secure CIHR funding for developing a new treatment for dementia
Two researchers at Western's Brain and Mind Institute have just received a 4-year grant from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research to evaluate the impact of a potential novel treatment for the loss of empathy that occurs in Frontotemporal dementia (FTD). 
Read More
Feb. 2013 | Charaktery
Echolocation in Polish
An article about Mel Goodale's work on the neural basis of echolocation in the blind appears in the Polish science magazine Charaktery.
Read PDF Article
Jan. 31 2013 | Western News
Program Looks to build a safer implant
Blaine Chronik and his team are looking to build medical devices, such as pacemakers, that are safe for the public and the magnetic resonance (MR) environment.
Read More
Jan. 17 2013 | Western News
Owen documentary now available in Canada
The BBC-TV program Panorama featured Western neuroscientist Adrian Owen last fall detailing his revolutionary efforts to communicate with severely brain-injured patients. The documentary, The Mind Reader; Unlocking My Voice, was only available in the U.K. until now.
Watch Documentary
Jan. 2013
Western neuroscience study reveals new link between basic math skills and PSAT math success

New research from Western University provides brain imaging evidence that students well-versed in very basic single digit arithmetic (5+2=7 or 7-3=4) are better equipped to score higher on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), an examination sat by millions of students in the United States each year in preparation for college admission tests.
Watch Video

Jan. 7 2013 | Canadians for Health Research
Researcher of the Month in Visual Neuroscience
Like many young adults, after earning his first university degree, Mel Goodale traveled to Europe to “find himself”. He failed miserably. Instead, he spent a lot of time wandering around the U.K., taking odd jobs and living in damp apartments with dubious roommates.
Read More