Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre


Neuroscience Research


Functional Neuroimaging is a priority area for neuroscience and translational areas of research.

The Institute of Neuroscience is committed to developing a UK-unique and nationally accessible range of facilities for multi-species neuroimaging.

A 4.7 Tesla Functional Magnetic Resonance Imager (FMRI) for non-invasive animal studies (funded by the JIF award to the Neuroecology group in 2002) is situated in the Henry Wellcome Building.

Several neuroscientists in the Institute are active experts in fMRI, with a particular focus on auditory processing. Several groupings within the Institute currently employ magnetoencephalography (MEG) in collaboration with European centres and positron emission tomography is planned. Experimental optical recording and calcium imaging is also employed.

Details and publications of individual researchers are available on the Institute of Neuroscience website.

Neuroscience projects



  • Cousins, D. A., Barnes, T. R. E., Young, A. H., Delgado, O., & Paton, C. (2022). Plus ca change? Switching lithium preparations. BJPsych Bull, 1-6.
  • Jayakody, K., Gallagher, P., Lloyd, A. J., & Cousins, D. A. (2022). A quantitative analysis of the relationship between affective state and personality ratings in inpatient depression (RAPID). Psychol Med, 1-10.


  •  Bellivier, F., Young, A. H., Scott, J., Etain, B., Cousins, D. A., & Consortium, R. L. (2021). Make lithium great again - Precisely! Bipolar Disord, 23(2), 209-210.
  • Necus, J., Smith, F. E., Thelwall, P. E., Flowers, C. J., Sinha, N., Taylor, P. N., Blamire, A. M., Wang, Y., & Cousins, D. A. (2021). Quantification of brain proton longitudinal relaxation (T1 ) in lithium-treated and lithium-naive patients with bipolar disorder in comparison to healthy controls. Bipolar Disord, 23(1), 41-48.
  • Lucini-Paioni, S., Squarcina, L., Cousins, D. A., & Brambilla, P. (2021). Lithium effects on Hippocampus volumes in patients with bipolar disorder. J Affect Disord, 294, 521-526.
  • McAllister-Williams, R. H., Bulmer, S., Newton, K., Heath, K., Cousins, D. A., & Currie, A. (2021). Assessment for vagus nerve stimulation in patients with difficult-to-treat depression: a model from the Newcastle Regional Affective Disorders Service (RADS). J Affect Disord, 280(Pt A), 315-318.



  • Necus, J., Sinha, N., Smith, F. E., Thelwall, P. E., Flowers, C. J., Taylor, P. N., Blamire, A. M., Cousins, D. A., & Wang, Y. (2019). White matter microstructural properties in bipolar disorder in relationship to the spatial distribution of lithium in the brain. J Affect Disord, 253, 224-231.
  • Scott, J., Hidalgo-Mazzei, D., Strawbridge, R., Young, A., Resche-Rigon, M., Etain, B., Andreassen, O. A., Bauer, M., Bennabi, D., Blamire, A. M., Boumezbeur, F., Brambilla, P., Cattane, N., Cattaneo, A., Chupin, M., Coello, K., Cointepas, Y., Colom, F., Cousins, D. A., . . . Bellivier, F. (2019). Prospective cohort study of early biosignatures of response to lithium in bipolar-I-disorders: overview of the H2020-funded R-LiNK initiative. Int J Bipolar Disord, 7(1), 20.


  • Jeppesen, J., Otto, M., Frederiksen, Y., Hansen, A. K., Fedorova, T. D., Knudsen, K., Nahimi, A., Brooks, D. J., Borghammer, P., & Sommerauer, M. (2018). Observations on muscle activity in REM sleep behavior disorder assessed with a semi-automated scoring algorithm. Clin Neurophysiol, 129(3), 541-547.
  • Martin, D., Hurlbert, A., & Cousins, D. A. (2018). Sleep Disturbance and the Change from White to Red Lighting at Night on Old Age Psychiatry Wards: A Quality Improvement Project. Arch Psychiatr Nurs, 32(3), 379-383.
  • Reinbold, C. S., Forstner, A. J., Hecker, J., Fullerton, J. M., Hoffmann, P., Hou, L., Heilbronner, U., Degenhardt, F., Adli, M., Akiyama, K., Akula, N., Ardau, R., Arias, B., Backlund, L., Benabarre, A., Bengesser, S., Bhattacharjee, A. K., Biernacka, J. M., Birner, A., . . . Cichon, S. (2018). Analysis of the Influence of microRNAs in Lithium Response in Bipolar Disorder. Front Psychiatry, 9, 207.
  • Smart, C., McAllister-Williams, H., & Cousins, D. A. (2018). Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors in treatment-resistant psychotic depression. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol, 8(1), 59-61.
  • Smith, F. E., Thelwall, P. E., Necus, J., Flowers, C. J., Blamire, A. M., & Cousins, D. A. (2018). 3D (7)Li magnetic resonance imaging of brain lithium distribution in bipolar disorder. Mol Psychiatry, 23(11), 2184-2191.


  • Hou, L., Heilbronner, U., Degenhardt, F., Adli, M., Akiyama, K., Akula, N., Ardau, R., Arias, B., Backlund, L., Banzato, C. E. M., Benabarre, A., Bengesser, S., Bhattacharjee, A. K., Biernacka, J. M., Birner, A., Brichant-Petitjean, C., Bui, E. T., Cervantes, P., Chen, G. B., . . . Schulze, T. G. (2016). Genetic variants associated with response to lithium treatment in bipolar disorder: a genome-wide association study. Lancet, 387(10023), 1085-1093.



  • Sedley W, Parikh J, Edden RA, Tait V, Blamire A, Griffiths TD. Human Auditory Cortex Neurochemistry Reflects the Presence and Severity of Tinnitus. J Neurosci. 2015 Nov 4;35(44):14822-8. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2695-15.2015.
  • Basu A, Taylor PN, Forsyth EO, Blamire AM, Forsyth R. Structural connectivity in a paediatric case of anarchic hand syndrome. BMC Neurol. 2015; 15: 234. Published online 2015 Nov 14. doi: 10.1186/s12883-015-0477-z. PMCID: PMC4647609.
  • Keogh MJ, Aribisala BS, He J, Tulip E, Butteriss D, Morris C, Gorman G, Horvath R, Chinnery PF, Blamire AM. Voxel based analysis in neuroferritinopathy expands the phenotype and determines radiological correlates of disease severity. J Neurol. 2015 Oct;262(10):2232-40. doi: 10.1007/s00415-015-7832-2. Epub 2015 Jul 4. PMID: 26142024.
  • Wilson B, Kikuchi Y, Sun L, Hunter D, Dick F, Smith K, Thiele A, Griffiths T, Marslen-Wilson W.D, & Petkov CI. Auditory sequence processing reveals evolutionarily conserved regions of frontal cortex in human and nonhuman primates. Nature Communications 2015, 6: 8901 doi:10.1038/ncomms9901.
  • Perrodin C, Kayser C, Abel T, Logothetis NK & Petkov CI. Who is that? Neuronal networks and mechanisms for identifying individuals. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Dec 2015; 19, 783-796.


  • Cousins DA, Aribisala BS, Ferrier IN, Blamire AM. Lithium, grey matter and the magnetic resonance signal. Biological Psychiatry. 2013 Apr 1;73(7):652-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.09.029. Epub 2012 Nov 16. PubMed PMID: 23158114.
  • Petkov CI & Vuong Q. Neuronal coding: The value in having an average voice. Curr Biol. 2013 Jun 17;23(12):R521-3. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.077. PMID: 23787046.
  • Petkov CI & Belin P. Silent reading: Does the brain ‘hear’ speech and voices? Curr Biol. 2013 Feb 18;23(4):R155-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.01.002. PMID: 23428326.


  • Cousins DA, Grunze H. Interpreting magnetic resonance imaging findings in bipolar disorder. CNS Neurosci. Ther. 2012 Mar;18(3):201-7. PMID:22449107.
  • Blamire AM. The Yale experience in first advancing fMRI. Neuroimage. 2012 Aug 15;62(2):637-40. Epub 2011 Oct 18.
  • Smith FE, Mardini H, Record CO and Blamire AM. Reply to: "Ammonia and cerebral water. Importance of structural analysis of the brain in hepatic encephalopathy"', Journal of Hepatology, 2012, 56(2), pp. 506-507.
  • McNeill A, Gorman G, Khan A, Horvath R, Blamire AM, Chinnery PF. Progressive Brain Iron Accumulation in Neuroferritinopathy Measured by the Thalamic T2* Relaxation Rate. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2012 Apr 12. [Epub ahead of print]
  • McAleese KE, Firbank M, Hunter D, Sun L, Hall R, Neal JW, Mann DM, Esiri M, Jellinger KA, O'Brien JT, Attems J. Magnetic resonance imaging of fixed post mortem brains reliably reflects subcortical vascular pathology of frontal, parietal and occipital white matter. Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2012 Oct 17. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2990.2012.01310.x. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23075072.


  • Mardini H, Smith FE, Record C, Blamire AM. Magnetic resonance quantification of water and metabolites in the brain of cirrhotics following induced hyperammonaemia. J Hepatol. 2011; 54: 1154-1160


  • Palaniyappan L, Cousins DA. Brain Networks: Foundations and Futures in Bipolar Disorder Journal of Mental Health. 2010;19(2):157-67.
  • Cousins DA, Brian Moore P, Watson S, Harrison L, Nicol Ferrier I, Young AH, et al. Pituitary volume and third ventricle width in euthymic patients with bipolar disorder. Psychoneuroendocrinology 2010; 35(7):1074-81. Epub 2010 Feb 19.


  • Cousins DA, Butts K, Young AH. The role of dopamine in bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disord 2009; 11: 787-806. 2009.
  • Shepherd TM, Thelwall PE, Stanisz GJ, Blackband SJ. Aldehyde fixative solutions alter the water relaxation and diffusion properties of nervous tissue. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 62: 26-34 (2009).


  • Sibson NR, Lowe JP, Blamire AM, Martin MJ, Obrenovitch TP, Anthony DC. Acute astrocyte activation in brain detected by MRI: new insights into T-1 hypointensity (vol 28, pg 621, 2008). Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. 2008;28(3):653.


  • Cousins DA, Young AH. The armamentarium of treatments for bipolar disorder: a review of the literature. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2007 Jun;10(3):411-31. Epub 2006 Dec 19. PubMed PMID: 17176493.
  • Garrood P, Hollingsworth K, Thelwall P, Birchall D, Eagle M, Bushby K, et al. MRI in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: Quantification of fat infiltration and gadolinium uptake using whole-muscle regions of interest. Neuromuscular Disorders. 2007;17(9-10):816-7.
  • Blamire AM, Cader S, Lee M, Palace J, Matthews PM. Axonal damage in the spinal cord of multiple sclerosis patients detected by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 2007;58:880-5.


  • El-Badri SM, Cousins DA , Parker S, Ashton HC. McAllister VL, Ferrier IN, Moore PB. Magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities in young euthymic patients with bipolar affective disorder. [Journal Article. Multicenter Study. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't] British Journal of Psychiatry. July 2006 189:81-2. UI: 16816311