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Basic Introduction to Advanced MRI and Analysis Techniques for Neuro-Applications (Basic Introduction to Advanced MRI and Analysis Techniques for Neuro-Applications)

Module ME702

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

ME702 is a semester module in English language at Bachelor’s level and Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

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

  • Focus Area Imaging in M.Sc. Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics
  • Catalogue of non-physics elective courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
60 h 30 h 2 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This introductory course to advanced MRI techniques is devised as an interactive lecture with elements of hands on training. In order to provide insight to relevant applications, diagnostic neuroradiological and neuroscientific imaging examples will be given throughout the course. The lectures cover the basics of quantitative, structural, and physiological magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as well as MR spectroscopy. With respect to functional MRI, the focus will be on understanding the principles of calibration and advanced analysis methods. Overall, the course aims at a primarily conceptual understanding of the most important principles of the presented topics.
Contents and educational objectives:
Starting with a wrap up of the most important basics of MR signal generation and imaging, the lecture covers advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), basic spectroscopy (MRS) as well as sophisticated functional MRI calibration and analysis methods. The primary aim is to give a wide overview on a variety of methods and provide the participants with a basic working knowledge on which structurally, physiologically and metabolically relevant information can be obtained by MRI and MRS, and how it can be refined by suitable analysis techniques. The course primarily aims at a conceptual understanding of the most important principles of the presented techniques and demonstrates relevant applications in clinical practice as well as research. It is intended to enable the participants to identify suitable applications and also recognize technological limitations. The range of covered techniques comprises quantitative relaxometry, diffusion weighted and tensor imaging, qualitative and quantitative oxygenation sensitive imaging (BOLD), qualitative and quantitative flow and perfusion imaging, qualitative and quantitative susceptibility sensitive techniques as well as metabolic imaging by means of MR spectroscopy. Likewise, the presentation of advanced analysis methods primarily aims at a basic understanding of more sophisticated techniques of structural and functional connectivity analysis, graph methods, functional parcellation, effective and dynamic functional connectivity. In addition, practical application examples will be given, relying on the capabilities of open source software packages for processing and analyzing brain MRI.

Learning Outcome

At the end of the module students are able
- to understand and explain the limitations of conventional (f)MRI
- to understand and explain the indications for quantitative and physiological MRI and MRS techniques
- to understand and explain the principles of different advanced methods for mapping of tissue relaxation, susceptibility and diffusion properties
- to understand and explain the principles of physiologically sensitive techniques like flow, perfusion and oxygenation MRI as well as MR spectroscopy
- to understand and explain the principles of calibrated fMRI
- to understand and explain more sophisticated advanced analysis techniques


Basic school knowledge on physics and mathematics of electromagnetism. The lecture actually builds on a lecture 'A Basic Introduction to Conventional MRI and Analysis Techniques for Neuro-Applications' offered in the winter term, but participation is not mandatory.

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


Richard Buxton. Introduction to Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Principles and Techniques.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

The exam comprises a short talk and questions on a topic that was covered by the lectures

Exam Repetition

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

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