Louise Martens

Alumni of the Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance

Main Focus

The aim of this project is to investigate how (ultra-) high field MRS can be used to understand the neurobiological basis underlying abnormalities found in other imaging modalities in psychiatric populations, and to use functional connectivity measures in conjunction with information on neurometabolism to predict disease status. 

Using a combination of MRS and functional connectivity analysis, it is possible to investigate whether increased activation or deactivation in network (nodes) are mediated by excitatory or inhibitory neurometabolite levels. Abnormal functional connectivity and other resting-state measures can thus be interpreted in the context of impaired excitatory or inhibitory neurotransmission. In my PhD project, I will apply this approach in studies of alcohol-dependent subjects and populations with high childhood trauma and GAD65 (GABA-synthesizing enzyme) encoding gene polymorphisms. The second aim of this project is to apply machine learning approaches to classify subjects based on single voxel spectroscopy Glu and GABA and whole-brain or single-slice MRSI data.

Curriculum Vitae

November 2016 - present
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics

PhD student in the High-Field Magnetic Resonance group
Project: High-field magnetic resonance spectroscopy in psychiatry

September 2014 - September 2016
Utrecht University, the Netherlands

MSc. Neuroscience and Cognition

February 2016 - August 2016: internship in the Hedonic Pharmacology lab of Prof. dr. Siri Leknes, University of Oslo. Eye-tracking and behavioral study of effects of oxytocin on social behaviour. 

October 2015 - February 2016: literature review (Master's thesis) on oxytocin and dopamine interactions in drug addiction

November 2014 - October 2015: internship in the Departments of Psychiatry and Radiology at Utrecht University, pilot study of a 'crusher coil' used to suppress extracranial lipids in 7T MRSI.

September 2007 - July 2013
Utrecht University, the Netherlands

BA. Liberal Arts in Sciences - linguistics major and cognition minor

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