2014 ISMRM Italian Art Challenge

Time of Flight
Firefly Trails

This version of Firefly Trails was my entry into the 2014 ISMRM Art Challenge. It consists of 5 panels of overlapping time of flight MR images.The colours in the middle panel were intended to be reminiscent of the colours in the Italian flag.

Time of Flight (TOF) MRI images are acquired by ‘tagging’ or exciting blood in an artery, ‘below’ the field of view, allowing that tagged blood to travel into the brain, along the arteries, and then acquiring an image before the excited signal has a chance to relax. The result is an amazing snap-shot of the arteries in the brain. When I first saw the TOF images produced by our 7T MRI, it looked like someone had thrown sparking streamers at the screen. The pathways were incredibly crisp, but there were these occasional hyper-intense pixels that seemed to sparkle in the 3 dimensional view of it. I spent a long time trying to develop colormaps that would allow me to convey that 3D feel in the 2 dimensions of a still image. I don’t think I ever quite succeeded, but then I started trying to translate and overlay the images in a way that conveyed the sense of motion I got paging through the data sets.

The results can be seen in this poster. Each panel is composed of overlapping TOF images from the same brain. From left to right the translations and rotations applied to the 2D images become more complicated. Even though I didn’t place in the art challenge, I was pleased with the poster I entered.

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