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A Basic Introduction to Conventional MRI and Analysis Techniques for Neuro-Applications

Module ME701

This Module is offered by Associate Professorship of Neuroradiology (Prof. Zimmer).

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Basic Information

ME701 is a semester module in English language at which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Catalogue of non-physics elective courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
60 h 30 h 2 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


Starting from basic principles of electromagnetism, elementary spin physics and relaxation mechanisms will be explained. Special emphasis will be placed on an in depth understanding of basic MR experiments, namely the gradient echo and the spin echo, because it lays the foundation for understanding pulse sequences and MR image formation. Building on this knowledge, the most common pulse sequences and image contrasts, used for neuroradiological and neuroscientific applications, will be introduced and illustrated by application examples. In order to prepare participants to be able to interpret MR examinations and discern potential findings from image artifacts, the origin and appearance of common artifacts including means to avoid them will be explained. Finally, the course covers the basics of functional MRI based on the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) effect, as used for preoperative functional brain mapping and neuroscientific applications, including basic image processing and analysis techniques. In this context, the participants should be able to understand the pipeline from image acquisition to parametric maps of brain activation as well as their significance.

Learning Outcome

At the end of the module students are able
- to understand and explain the principles of MR signal generation and image formation
- to understand and explain the most important image contrasts and how they are generated
- to apply the most common clinical MR imaging techniques
- recognize the most common imaging artifacts and know how to avoid them
- to understand and to explain the principles of BOLD-based functional MRI
- to understand and apply basic fMRI experimental designs, processing and analysis techniques


Basic school knowledge on mathematics and electromagnetism.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

lecture, activating learning methods, practical exercises at the scanner, team work and discussions


Powerpoint, Flipchart


McRobbie, Moore, Graves and Prince, ' MRI: from picture to proton, 2nd Edition, Cambride University Press.
Buxton, Introdcution to functional magnetic resonance imaging, Cambride University Press.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

The oral examination comprises a talk (10 min) and discussion on an imaging technique that was subject of the lecture. By presenting appropriate practiacal applications, the student need to demonstate that they understand the techniques and are able to apply them to practical problems

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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