Mark Wolforth's Home Page

Welcome to Mark Wolforth's Home Page

Short (hopefully descriptive) Blurb

Mark Wolforth (hey, that's me) is a Master's student in BioMedical Engineering at McGill University in Montreal, and is studying at the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre at the Montreal Neurological Institute. He finished his B.Eng. (Electrical) at McGill in 1994.

His research interests are detailed below....

Here are some volume rendered images (from MR data) that vaguely represent what I look like (although I doubt that you would recognize me on the street from these)...

Click here for a peek inside my head.

Research Interests

Sleep deprivation. No, that's only a sideline caused by my research into functional MRI (fMRI), which allows researchers to "see" which parts of the brain are active during tasks, completely non-invasively. This is in contrast to other well-established functional mapping methods such as PET, which are invasive (eg. PET requires the injection of a radioactive tracer, and sometimes the taking of blood samples).

Basically, here's the current thinking. We know from PET that the flow of blood to a region of the brain increases when that region becomes active. However, the amount of oxygen being consumed by the region does not increase proportionately, and this creates a change in the ratio of oxyhemoglobin to deoxyhemoglobin. Since oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin have different magnetic properties (one is paramagnetic, while the other is diamagnetic), this ratio change causes a corresponding disturbance in the magnetic field. This small change in the field shows up as a small signal change in the final images.

As you might imagine, the resulting signal is very small, and is hidden in a sea of physiological noise. My research involves the extraction and quantification of the signal, and the application of statistical methods developed for PET to this new modality.


Here are some documents that I have prepared for your viewing pleasure. For people outside the MNI, these documents probably are of very little interest to you, unless you are a user of EMMA.

o MATLAB Help Page This is the development area for MATLAB help. The pages presented here are not guaranteed to be in a working state. For the production version, please consult the official MATLAB Help Page.
o Blood Lab Documentation This is the documentation for the blood lab computer.
o Software Map of my endeavors at the MNI.
o Slide Maker FAQ, for those of you interested in making slides for presentations.