Zhao selected as 2024 Beckman Institute Undergraduate Fellow

Zifan Zhao

Zifan Zhao, who is pursuing dual degrees in information sciences + data science and psychology with a concentration in cognitive neuroscience, has been selected as a 2024 Beckman Institute Undergraduate Fellow. The program provides undergraduate students with a $3,000 award to pursue interdisciplinary research at the Beckman Institute during the summer. 

Zhao conducts research in the CONNECTLab led by Sepideh Sadaghiani, associate professor of psychology. Researchers in the CONNECTLab combine two medical imaging toolsfunctional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography, or EEGto demonstrate how the brain behaves, changes, and communicates within itself as participants complete cognitive tasks like talking, answering questions, or completing memory challenges. While the techniques make a dynamic pair, the MRI scanner's rhythmically thudding magnetic field distorts the EEG's data-gathering process.

Zhao's summer project, "Gradient artifacts cleaning and data quality check for EEG simultaneously recorded with multi-band fMRI," involves creating guidelines to filter out the noise and generate high-quality EEG data during simultaneous EEG and fMRI scans.

"This work promises not only to refine our current practices, but also to serve as a central contribution to the advancement of our understanding and application of neuroimaging techniques," Zhao said.

He will present his research at a poster session on August 1 in the Beckman Institute.

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