We are pleased to announce that the below symposiums have been accepted onto the Biomag2021 programme.
Click on the title for each one for further details.
We are pleased to announce that the below symposiums have been accepted onto the Biomag2021 programme.
Click on the title for each one for further details.
Co-chairs: Chunyan Cao, Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China and Vladimir Litvak, UCL, London, UK
Simultaneous MEG and local field potential recordings in patients undergoing deep brain stimulation surgery have established the existence of multiple cortico-subcortical coherent resting networks and mapped their topography. The next stage in the study of these networks is understanding their function and one way to address this is to find out how their strength varies over time and how it is modulated by cognitive tasks. The deep structures that one can study in patients are not reachable for MEG alone and thus coherence between deep brain structures and cortical signals measured by MEG is free from confounds that hinder its use in non-invasive studies and can provide unparalleled insights into the role of dynamic modulation of neurophysiological connectivity in the human brain.
Only a handful of groups worldwide have the possibility to do this kind of studies and the proposed symposium will bring together representatives from all of them.
Co-chairs: Arjan Hillebrand, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology and MEG Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Prejaas Tewarie, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology and MEG Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cognitively relevant fluctuations in oscillatory neuronal activity typically occur at the millisecond time scale. Interactions between distinct neuronal populations take place at similar time-scales. Magnetoencephalography offers the temporal resolution to characterise these fast fluctuations in functional connectivity. The last decade has brought the field new insights on the estimation of dynamic connectivity, its relevance for cognition, and clinical applications. This ranges from in-depth analysis of sliding window approaches, use of Hidden Markov models, application of Kalman filtering and the use of high temporal resolution metrics of functional connectivity. This symposium will shed light on new methods, but also on applications of dynamic connectivity in cognitive neuroscience and neurological disorders.
Co-Chairs: Carsten Wolters, Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis, Münster, Germany, and Stefan Rampp, Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
Our session will present new methods and their successful application for the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. It will start with MEG source analysis successfully used to localize epileptic foci and high-frequency oscillations in adult and pediatric populations. It will include the largest MEG source analysis epilepsy patient cohort study performed up to date (Rampp et al., Brain, 2019). In the second part, multimodal MEG, EEG and MRI source analysis methods based on individualized and calibrated head models will be proposed and successfully applied in the context of epilepsy and their superiority over standard approaches will be demonstrated. Finally, a new targeted (using combined MEG/EEG source analysis) multi-channel transcranial electric stimulation (TES) optimization approach will be proposed to be used for patients who are unsuitable surgery candidates and for whom a series of stimulation sessions over a longer period of time are planned with the goal to inhibit epileptic activity and thereby reduce the number of seizures.
Chair: Sven Bestmann, University College London, London, United Kingdom
Sensorimotor beta activity (13-30Hz) is a hallmark feature of healthy and pathological movement and sensory processing, yet its functional role remains unclear. Recent work in animals and humans has revealed that this activity comprises high amplitude, transient, and aperiodic bursts, whose contribution to the classical sensorimotor beta activity as well as their functional role remains largely undetermined. This symposium will review recent developments on the detection, soatio-temporal characteristics and putative functional role of transient sensorimotor beta events, across a range of species and methodologies.
First, Cagnan will review recent work in rodents and patients with Parkinson’s Disease on the temporal dynamics of beta burst activity within cortico-striatal circuits, and the relevance of these signals for healthy and pathological movement. Silva will discuss cross-species commonalities of beta burst activity, their putative neurocomputational role using novel biophysical network modelling approaches, and the putative relevance of transient beta events for sensory processing. Bonaiuto will review recent work on high-precision MEG and new source localization approaches that has allowed for resolving the laminar profile of beta bursts in sensorimotor cortex. Finally, Mullinger will discuss novel analytical approaches using Hidden Markov Modelling (HMM) to identify beta bursts across cortex and the dynamics of these beta events across different cortical regions, as well as leveraging HMMs to provide novel insights aboute the functional role of post-stimulus beta responses (occurring after stimulus cessation).
The purpose of this symposium is to highlight the current state of the field and new approaches for studying the physiological and behavioural foundations of healthy and pathological movement, and to identify forthcoming challenges and open questions about the functional relevance of sensorimotor activity in the beta range, and beyond.
Chair: Srikantan Nagarajan, UCSF, San Francisco, USA
Biomagnetic Imaging has revealed a multitude of impact of neural oscillations in various types of Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. This symposium seeks to highlight the latest work in this burgeoning field of biomagnetic imaging in Dementia. Speakers included here have made important contributions in this research area and hearing updates on their latest work should be of broad interest to the Biomag 2020 community.
Chair: Ana Pesquita, University Of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
This symposium aims at exploring the challenges of investigating the neuronal mechanisms of complex social behaviour using magnetoencephalography. Neuroscientists often study social cognition by measuring how the brain responds to simplified social stimuli, such as static pictures of faces. Whereas this approach allows for well-controlled studies with high experimental reliability, the resulting findings might not generalize to real-life social experiences. In recent years, the field has moved towards increased ecological validity. In particular, new studies have focused on capturing the dynamic and interactive nature of social behaviour, narrowing the gap between how we investigate social cognition in the lab and how we experience real social interactions. However, these novel approaches bring along their own set of challenges and confounds to do with the use of complex stimuli and open-ended experimental designs. Consequently, research on social cognition is characterized by a tension between experimental control and ecological validity. In this symposium, we will hear from researchers who are negotiating this tension in their work. The talks will cover multiple distinct approaches to the study of the neural basis of social cognition, from the analysis of neuronal responses to simplified social stimuli, to simultaneous MEG recordings from two participants who are interacting in real-time. The symposium will offer a unique space to discuss how to best harness magnetoencephalography methods to advance the field of social cognition. Furthermore, we hope to foster a broader discussion on how to study complex human behaviour – with high ecological validity – inside the constraints of the MEG lab.
Inclusivity Statement: The symposium features a panel of female and male speakers. It comprises talks by a doctoral student, a postdoctoral researcher, as well as several established academics working in different countries.
Co-chairs: Margot J. Taylor, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada and Charline Urbain, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
Unravelling the developmental bases of high-level cognitive functions is critical to understand brain function and dysfunction across the lifespan.MEG studies show tremendous age-related changes in the pattern of brain activity, its localisation, timing and oscillation frequencies.The challenge is to develop neuroimaging tasks that assess complex cognitive functions across age ranges that can also be applied to clinical paediatric populations.In this symposium, we presentcutting-edgeMEG studies investigating cognitive function in typically developing youth and clinical groups,investigating cognitive and social-cognitive processing throughfour presentations that include populations with social and cognitive difficulties: 1) The role of sleep in memory formation, using a task completed pre- and post a 90minute nap or wakeful rest, all while in the MEG. Slow wave sleep triggers inter-regional memory consolidation; its role will be discussed with regard to children with epilepsy who have accelerated long-term forgetting. 2) The importance of theta oscillations, anchored in the temporo-parietal junction, is studied in embodied perspective taking in adults and adolescents,highlighting the embodied origins of high-level social and spatial cognition. In contrast, adolescents with autism utilise alpha oscillations, suggesting a distinct strategy. 3) A theory of mind false belief task in 7-12yr-olds showing increased connectivity largely in right-sided parietal-frontal networks underlying the processing of false belief in typical development; this is contrasted to children with autism. 4) Creative analyses of phonological and semantic interactions during top-down and bottom-up processing, drawing on fronto-temporal activity and gamma band oscillations, in children including those with language difficulties – dyslexia and children with autism. A link between motor and language development is also explored. All of these aspects of cognition have protracted maturational courses, and understanding their development in both typical and atypical populations facilitates the understanding of these abilities, brain-behaviour relations in adult populations and future translational clinical applications.
Co-chairs: Kasper Jensen, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom and Gareth Barnes, UCL, London, United Kingdom
For over forty years, the fundamental building block of magnetoencephalography (MEG) systems has been the superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID). SQUIDs offer extremely high sensitivity to the small magnetic fields generated by the human brain. However, they are also limited by a requirement for cryogenic cooling, meaning MEG systems are cumbersome, static, ‘one-size-fits-all’ and expensive to buy and run. In recent years, a number of new technologies have emerged that offer similar sensitivity to SQUIDs, but without the requirement for cooling. Arguably the most advanced of these is the optically pumped magnetometer (OPM). OPMs exploit the quantum properties of alkali metals, and a technique known as optical pumping, to measure magnetic fields with a noise floor <10 fT/sqrt(Hz). Recent miniaturisation and commercialisation means that OPMs are now available in self-contained packages enabling multiple sensors to be mounted within a lightweight helmet on the scalp. With appropriate control of background magnetic fields, OPMs enable “wearable” MEG systems, with a subject able to move their head freely during data acquisition. This new technology therefore offers the potential of a new generation of MEG scanner, with higher sensitivity, improved spatial resolution, and novel neuroscientific experimentation as the constraints on subject movement are lifted.
In this symposium, we will assemble talks from leading groups which span the gamut of OPM-MEG development and application. We will introduce the technical challenges that are faced by the introduction of OPM systems, and the new technologies that are beginning to meet those challenges. We will describe the latest multi-channel OPM systems in operation, and showcase recent data, with an emphasis on comparison to established (SQUID based) recordings. Finally we will highlight the unique opportunities that OPM based measurement affords, in particular the promise of MEG recording during subject movement, enabling a paradigm shift in experimental design.
Co-chairs: Daniel Baumgarten, UMIT – University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Hall in Tirol, Austria, and Tilmann Sander, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Berlin, Germany
Optically pumped magnetometers (OPM) have made significant progress in terms of performance and applicability. The recent commercial availability allows to study benefits beyond typical SQUID setups, which are more flexible positioning and the omission of cryogenic cooling. However, they are still trailing SQUIDs in noise performance and bandwidth. Beyond the field of MEG, where OPMs have already attracted significant attention, a variety of biomagnetic applications will benefit from OPMs. In this symposium, the application of OPMs for characterization and imaging of magnetic nanoparticles, magnetocardiography, magnetomyography and low field NMR will be covered, and recent advances will be demonstrated.
Magnetic nanoparticles (MNP) open novel pathways in cancer therapy and non-invasive diagnostics. Magnetorelaxometry allows for their characterization and quantitative imaging. OPMs offer benefits in terms of flexible positioning and measurement in background fields.
One method to produce MNPs is microfluidics, where a reaction mixture is passed through capillary test tubes. The transit time and temperature, among other factors, determine the physical properties of the MNPs. An instant method to measure the magnetic susceptibility using OPMs is being developed.
Fetal magnetocardiography was early on identified as potentially benefitting from OPMs. Comparing OPM magnetocardiography recordings with existing SQUID data in terms of metrics such as heart rate variability has shown good agreement, but at much simpler device operation.
Magnetic measurements of periphery limbs offer a non-invasive probe of muscle activity with comparably high temporal resolution as electromyograms. We use an array of optically pumped magnetometers to detect muscle activity in the human hand, evoked via transcranial magnetic stimulation.
Nuclear magnetic resonance at ultra-low magnetic fields offers a specifically pronounced contrast in the longitudinal relaxation time to characterize pathogenic tissue. Measurements on phantom samples show the potential for this type of OPM NMR.
Chair: Laura Marzetti, University of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy
The development of methods to improve our understanding of the temporal dynamics of brain networksfrom functional neuroimaging is one the current challenges in the neuroscience community. In this framework, MEG and non-invasive electrophysiology at large are currently gaining an important role, nevertheless they still have an unexploited potential.
In this symposium, we will introduce current advances in multivariate methods that are crucial forcharactering brain networks by taking advantage of all information contained in the data from one or more neuroimaging modalities. Indeed, the vast majority of currently available methods relies on bivariate approaches. For instance, connectivity between brain regions is usually estimated by computing the correlation or coherence between their activities commonly reduced to univariate time series, e.g. after averaging across voxels or by imposing functional or anatomical priors.
Conversely, multivariate methods have the potential to:
1) exploit the full information contained in the data by directly addressing relationships between multiple timeseries, e.g., in a region or parcel;
2) provide a unified framework for multimodal integration of MEG data with other imaging modalities.
This symposium will present methodological studies that describe and apply multivariate approaches in MEG, EEG, fMRI and their combinations in a 120 minutes format with 4 presenters and an introduction from the chair.
This symposium will present methodological studies that describe and apply multivariate approaches in MEG, EEG, fMRI and their combinations in a 120 minutes format with 4 presenters and an introduction from the chair. Given that, together with novel methods, the presenters will show also relevant neuroscience applications, this symposium is of interest for the community at large. Presenters will be from laboratories in different countries (1 Italy, 1 Belgium, 1 U.S.A, 1 Canada), of different nationalities (Italian, Indian, Iranian, Belgian), gender (2 females, 2 males) and carrier stages (from post-doc to faculty).
Co-chair: Mathilde Bonnefond, Inserm, Lyon, France, and James Bonaiuto, CNRS, Lyon, France
One of the major challenges of systems neuroscience is to determine whether brain oscillations serve any functional role in local computations and brain communication or whether they are simply an epiphenomena of recurrent neural circuitry. To tackle this challenge, it is crucial to study oscillations at the level of cortical layers since specific, falsifiable predictions can be derived from different theoretical frameworks at this scale. In light of these frameworks, this symposium will introduce different methodological approaches to investigate the laminar profile of oscillations within the visual cortical hierarchy, from laminar fMRI-EEG and high precision (laminar) MEG, to laminar electrode recordings in both monkeys and humans.
Co-chair: Britta Westner, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark, and Caroline Witton, Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Data analysis in MEG research relies heavily on open source toolboxes. Their openness makes them transparent data analysis tools and they are one of the main pillars for reproducible research and open science. However, while sharing of data and open access publishing is often discussed in the MEG community, the contribution to open source projects seems to be less in the focus and is often limited to a relatively small pool of developers. In this symposium, we aim to bring open source efforts closer to the MEG community. Rather than summarising the capabilities of the existing toolboxes, which are well-documented, we focus on the broader ecosystem of open source tools in MEG and how user communities and developers can work together to advance our science. We investigate how open source development can enable and catalyze reproducible research efforts, within and beyond the toolboxes’ horizons. Maintainers and contributors will share their experiences and their vision of the open source community in MEG research, giving insights into the inner workings of open source efforts and toolbox development. We hope to motivate a greater number of people of different groups and diverse backgrounds to contribute to open source software development efforts. We also hope to advocate for a greater recognition of the value of open source efforts in our scientific field.
Dr. Robert Oostenveld, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands, and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Co-chair: Yuhan Chen, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadephia, USA, and Julia Stephen, The Mind Research Network, Albuquerque, USA
Prenatal brain growth occurs at an astonishing rate and continues through early infancy. This rapid brain development allows for rapid acquisition of skills but has also been associated with “sensitive periods.” Alterations in brain development during these periods may lead to long-term consequences for behavioral and cognitive functioning. Therefore, understanding how brain dynamics change through infancy may provide opportunities to better understand the critical features of brain development, identify early markers of altered brain development with long-term consequences on cognitive and behavioral function and open opportunities for early intervention. This symposium covers recent infant MEG research focuses on understanding early brain development, examining basic sensory processes as well as examining precursors to higher-level cognitive processes. with a focus on large sample studies. Presenting infant data from well over 100 infants, Dr. Yuhan Chen will discuss the creation of normative infant databases (auditory, visual, resting-state, and face processes). Moving to pathology, Dr. Julia Stephen will present findings on atypical brain development in at-risk infants, Dr. Heather Green brain abnormalities in infants at-risk for developmental disorders, and Dr.PäiviNevalainen will discuss the somatosensory cortical responses in term and preterm infants. Finally, moving to clinical patient population, Dr. Banu Ahtam will discuss about utilizing baby MEG for pre-surgical localization of epileptiform activity in pediatric populations. It is hoped that the symposium facilities discussion the methods used to identify clinically relevant infant MEG measures.
Despite the world-wide high incidence of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), estimated to be > 600 per 100,000 people annually, its diagnosis remains challenging. The pathophysiology of mTBI is poorly understood but neurochemical, metabolic, and structural damage are thought to lead to post-concussive symptoms (PCSs). These complaints spontaneously resolve in about 80% of cases within three months, but the rest show persistent long-term cognitive, emotional and/or behavioural impairments, often without trauma-specific changes in structural brain imaging (MRI and CT).
As there are currently no unequivocal brain imaging markers available for mTBI, the diagnostic criteria are based on clinical findings, and assessing treatment efficacy is based on patient report of symptom remission. In the absence of objective trauma indicators, healthcare professionals may fail to recognize these patients. In addition, follow-up is often difficult to determine as there are no objective measures to gauge brain recovery. Finally, regarding the interpretation of brain imaging findings in mTBI, it is of note that co-morbidity of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) adds complexity to the mTBI diagnosis due to a substantial overlap in the symptoms of these two disorders.
This symposium explores recent advances in the development and application of MEG in mTBI. Topics include studies in the acute and chronic phases post injury, in both paediatric and adult populations, as well as military and civilian cohorts. We will explore how PTSD and mTBI can be differentiated using MEG.
Data will show how changes in local and large-scale neural network synchrony and in source magnitude measures, are related to symptoms and scores in neuropsychological exams in mTBI patients. Furthermore, we explore the application and value of machine learning techniques on MEG data to aid differential diagnostics and prognosis. This symposium will frame future priorities to aid in diagnosis and prognosis of a ‘silent epidemic’.
Chair: Satu Palva, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Several prior studies using MEG, EEG and iEEG have shown that local brain oscillations as well as large-scale connectivity in multiple frequency bands are modulated during tasks calling on working memory (WM) and long-term memory (LTM) in humans. Yet the specific functional roles of these oscillations in the representation of different kinds of sensory information in memory as well as their differential contributions to WM and LTM are poorly understood. This symposium will discuss recent results using source-reconstructed MEG / EEGdata on the macroscale, as well as invasive recordings in monkeys and humans on the microscale during WM and LTM tasks. We will first discuss the specific fingerprints of large-scale networks underlying the maintenance of feature-specific information and contents of visual WM as well as its executive control. We will show usingsource-reconstructed MEG datathat narrow-band large-scale synchronization predicts WM maintenance but only narrow-band alpha synchronization was correlated with feature-specific information. We next present studies using humans MEG and monkey LFP data showing role of beta oscillations in ensemble formation involved in maintenance of information in WM as well as subsequent decision in discrimination task. We then extendthe discussion to the relationship between LTM and WM. We will present data on how alpha/beta and theta/gamma oscillations are related to memory formation and retrieval, with an emphasis on the role of gamma oscillations in the hippocampal system. Finally, we discuss the causal relationship between fronto-parietal theta oscillations and working memory performance by presenting studies combining information-based neuromodulation (rhTMS/visual rhythmic stimulation/MEG/EEG) and longitudinal WM training. We will show how such optimized noninvasive brain stimulation procedure (targeting functional relevant oscillatory metrics) can enhance brain plasticity and improve behaviour. In summary, in our symposium we will speak about how different oscillations and their within-frequency and cross-frequency interactions coordinate memory formation.
Co-chair: Peter Uhlhaas, Charite Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany, and Krish Singh, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom
The application of neuroimaging to provide mechanistic insights into circuit dysfunctions in major psychiatric conditions and the development of biomarkers are core challenges in psychiatric research. This symposium will provide a state-of-the-art overview on current and future applications of MEG in psychiatry. Tal Kenet (MGH/HMS Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging) will present an overview on applications of MEG in Autism Spectrum Disorders with a focus on changes in local and long-range connectivity in resting-state recordings and during sensory- and face-processing paradigms. Current perspectives of MEG-research for affective disorders will be discussed by Jessica Gilbert (NIH). She will summarise recent studies that examined the possibility to develop MEG-biomarkers for responses to ketamine in major depression and suicidal ideation. James Rowe (University of Cambridge) discusses MEG-applications for understanding dementias. He will present studies that integrated computational modelling, pharmacology and MEG to identify circuit dysfunctions in frontotemporal dementia. Peter Uhlhaas (Charite/University of Glasgow) will provide a synthesis and perspective on the application of MEG towards identifying circuit dysfunctions and biomarkers in schizophrenia and emerging psychosis, with a particular focus on at-risk populations. In the final presentation, Alex Shaw (Cardiff) discusses the combination of pharmacological modelling, computational modelling and advanced MEG-approaches towards the identification of neurobiological mechanisms in psychiatry.
Chair: Hyojin Park, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Our perceptual experiences in everyday life are mostly multi-modal and we perceive the environment more efficiently when combining multi-sense inputs. This is particularly true when we are surrounded by multi-talkers (cocktail party effect). We have seen a large number of studies that had tried to uncover how our brain integrates information from multi-modal speech inputs, however, how multimodal speech signals are represented in unisensory cortices and higher-order structures and how they interact along the hierarchical streams of feedforward/feedback information processing still remains to be answered. These questions are important not only to understand neural bases of multisensory integration and its attentional modulation but also crucial to understand underlying neural mechanisms of patients with sensory deprivation (e.g. hearing loss) as well as their adaptive brain reorganization (cross-modal plasticity).
This symposium gathers five outstanding speakers who will address this issue by exploiting M/EEG data which provides excellent temporal resolution and spectral features from healthy volunteers as well as clinical population (deafness). We hope to present not only the best research in this topic but also inspire BIOMAG attendees to consider the meaning of physiological and anatomical observations of interactions between our senses in the multisensory world of our daily lives.
We also have strived for a fair balance of diversity in terms of career stage (1 Senior PI, 2 Early-career independent PIs, 1 Post-doctoral researcher, and 1 PhD student), gender (3 females, 2 males) and geographical location (England, Scotland, Spain, Austria) of speakers.
Co-chair: Denis Engemann, Inria / Neurospin, Paris, France, and Riitta Salmelin, Aalto University, Aalto, Finland
MEG/EEG offer a unique window on brain functions in both health and disease through its coverage of brain dynamics across vast temporal scales. Combined with novel computational analysis, M/EEG provides great potential to improve clinical diagnostics and prognostic modeling in pathologies such as autism spectrum disorders, multiple sclerosis, disorders of consciousness and in sleep medicine. However, M/EEG-based development of clinical biomarkers incurs multiple methodological issues.
Progressing from group-level commonalities to proper sensitivity in detecting individual differences is difficult, and SNR issues are aggravated in the clinical settings due to the patient-related limitations, increasing the importance of data denoising and preprocessing techniques. Ideally, the data processing pipelines should be automatised to minimize human processing time and the level of needed expertise, both extra costly in the clinic. Source localization may not be always available in practice, hence, alternative procedures are necessary to account for volume conduction. Multimodal analysis, including behavioral, clinical, and other neuroimaging measures, pose additional challenges. Finally, the assumption of stationarity made by source localization and spatial filter methods may occlude important information, which calls for a careful assessment of methodological limits and possible alternative approaches.
In this symposium, we bring together research combining MEG/G with predictive modeling in neurology and clinical neuroscience. Special emphasis is put on how recent results from machine learning and statistical modeling can enhance processing challenging clinical data at scale. The symposium will both demonstrate the recent advances in the field and, hopefully, generate the synergies needed to further advance the practical utility of MEG/EEG in clinical settings by increasing the cross-talk between researchers in M/EEG, clinical neuroscience and data science.
Co-chair: Matti Stenroos, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland, and Jens Haueisen, Ilmenau University of Technology, Ilmenau, Germany
Magnetocardiography (MCG) assesses the cardiac electrical activity via the magnetic field measured outside the chest. MCG studies have typically been done using SQUID-based sensors in a magnetically shielded room. In such studies, MCG has shown promise, for example, in assessing post-infarction arrhythmia risk and exercise-induced ischemia. Thanks to the introduction of optically-pumped magnetometers (OPM), there is now increasing new interest in MCG: the OPMs and other new sensors that do not need cryogenic cooling enable measurement closer to the chest, potentially increasing the sensitivity and resolution of the measurement while also decreasing the cost of the MCG system. Another focus of interest has been in techniques that facilitate measuring outside a magnetically-shielded room. Together, these developments open new opportunities for the application of MCG especially in clinics but also in basic research.
In this symposium, we have collected recent work of five innovative research groups, including three groups that have not previously been present in Biomag MCG sessions. Our selection focuses on application of new sensor techniques and artefact removal, ranging from sensor design and small-animal measurements to fetal MCG and a movable clinical MCG system that operates outside the shielded room. These talks are complemented by a clinically-motivated SQUID-MCG work that extends from conventional signal-averaged analysis to beat-to-beat analysis of atrial dynamics.