Friday, July 26, 2013

Rochester Updates

I've only been in Rochester for about ten days now, but so far it's been a good experience. After arriving in the middle of a heatwave and sleeping in a room with no air conditioning - similar to Alec Guinness and the corrugated shed in The Bridge on the River Kwai - the heat spell broke and cooler air came in, making the weather for the past week some of the most pleasant I have ever breathed into my lungs and felt upon my skin. In addition, the trail system here is fantastic, with several miles of smooth, uninterrupted pavement running along the Genesee River and the Erie Canal. Every morning I wake up a little after six, run eight or ten or twelve miles on the sunwarmed trails, go to work, come home later in the evening, eat at the Mt. Hope Diner across the street, and sometimes get in another run before going to bed. I love it.

My lab hosts here have also provided me with everything that I wanted to learn and get done during my trip, including hashing out some ideas for a joint project, getting some hands-on experience and a soup-to-nuts tutorial on setting up a monkey and guiding electrodes into their brains and recording action potentials from their neurons, and presenting my research and going to lab meetings and journal clubs. I didn't know what to expect going in, but the days have been productive and I've met some great people.

Having recently finished teaching the FMRI workshop, I am also putting together a playlist of tutorial videos covering the analysis of a single subject from start to finish, following the text files on the AFNI website. There are about twenty steps in all, and they cover the fundamentals of FMRI acquisition and analysis, as well as the technical details of how to operate AFNI. I hope this will provide a good starting point for AFNI newcomers, and in the future I will be putting together more coherent playlists to cover certain topics in depth.

The playlist

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