A/Prof Markus Barth
A/Prof Markus Barth

Contact Details

Centre for Advanced Imaging
Building 57 Research Road,
The University of Queensland
Brisbane, QLD, 4072
Email: m.barth@uq.edu.au
Telephone: +61 7 334 60349
Fax: +61 7 3365 3833
Group members
Current grants
Key publications

Research Interests

Magnetic Resonance (MRI) is a versatile technique that can provide important insights into the body non-invasively and without dangerous side effects with high spatial resolution. A/Prof Barth’s main interests are in the fields of MR method development for applications in neuroimaging with a focus on functional MRI and neurological diseases such as dementia and cancer, as well as cardiac MR.

  • Understanding brain activity using functional MRI:
blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) functional MRI gives a good picture of neural activation and connectivity in the living human brain non-invasively. A/Prof Barth is particularly interested to identify small functional units of the brain, such as cortical layers and columns, in order to better understand brain function by developing very fast functional MRI techniques with the highest spatial resolution possible. Recently, he also addressed important neuroscientific questions such as memory consolidation during sleep and decoding measured functional signals (brain reading). He explored the possibilities of simultaneous acquisition of EEG and fMRI to examine the link between electrophysiology and BOLD task activity and large scale brain networks.
  • Ageing and dementia using MR Neuroimaging: Using high magnetic fields (3 and 7 Tesla) spatial resolution of images can be improved significantly. For example, very small venous vessels and small bleedings in the brain can be visualised using specific contrasts, namely susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI) and MR phase. The MR phase information can be used as a very sensitive disease marker, e.g. for tumor angiogenesis or iron accumulation in certain brain structures in Parkinson’s disease.
  • Cardiac MR: A new area of research is the exploration of cardiac MR at the ultra-high field strength of 7 Tesla and first results examining the anatomy and function of the human heart look promising.

A/Prof Barth leads projects under the following research programs:
Ultra high field human MR
Comparative Oncology

Keywords: functional MRI, BOLD, 7 Tesla, Neuroimaging

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For a full research and supervision profile, see Markus Barth's UQ researcher page

Current grants

  • Barth M. Improved decoding of human brain activity using advanced functional magnetic resonance imaging at ultra-high field strength. ARC Future Fellowship; 2015-2019; $870K.
  • Barth M, Galloway G, Crozier S, O’Brien K. “Verifying the safety and image quality of metallic implants at 7T using single and parallel transmit systems”. Siemens Ltd. 2014-2017.
  • Cunnington R, Windischberger C, Barth M. High-resolution brain imaging of basal ganglia function. NHMRC Project; 2015-2017; $570K.
  • D.Reutens, M.Cooper, M.Smith, A.Boyd, L.Richards, P.Bartlett, P.Russell, D.Walker, R.Bhalla, M.Barth, C.Palmieri, K.Thurecht, T.Venkatachalam, R.Allavena, R.Straw, Y.Tesiram, J.Bunt, M.Francois, G.Osborne. ACRF Facility for Molecular Imaging Agents in Cancer (AFMIAC). Australian Cancer Research Foundation; 2015; $2.5m

 Student project opportunities

Please visit our PhD projects page,  under Better Diagnosis, Understanding, and Treatment of Disease, Imaging and Spectroscopic Technologies and Quantitative Assessment of Biology and Biological Processes.

Key Publications

  • S. Schoenmakers, M. Barth, T. Heskes, M. A. J. van Gerven. (2013) Linear Reconstruction of Perceived Images from Human Brain Activity. NeuroImage 83, p.951-961. (Convincing demonstration that letters can be decoded from fMRI signals of the human brain; a breakthrough study in the field of brain reading.)
  • R. Boyacioglu and M. Barth. (2013) Generalized INverse Imaging (GIN): Ultra-Fast fMRI with Physiological Noise Correction. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 70, p.962-971. (Currently one of the fastest fMRI experiments (temporal resolution of 50 ms) with whole brain coverage)
  • E.V. van Dongen, A. Takashima, M. Barth, J. Zapp, L.R. Schad, K.A. Paller, G. Fernández. (2012) Memory stabilization with targeted reactivation during human slow-wave sleep. PNAS 109, p.10575-80. (The first functional imaging experiment in humans that shows how memories are being re-played during slow wave sleep and lead to memory consolidation.)
  • D.G. Norris, P.J. Koopmans, R. Boyacioğlu, M. Barth. (2011) Power Independent of Number of Slices (PINS) radio frequency pulses for low power simultaneous multi-slice excitation. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 66, p. 1234–40. (A smart solution to mitigate the power issues of multiband radiofrequency pulses which will make many MR imaging methods feasible at ultra high field.)
  • P.J. Koopmans, M. Barth, D.G. Norris (2010) Layer specific BOLD activation in human V1. Human Brain Mapping 31, p. 1297–1304. (The first convincing demonstration of laminar fMRI and laminar functional profiles in humans.)
  • B.A. Poser, P.J. Koopmans, T. Witzel, L.L. Wald, and M. Barth (2010) Three dimensional EPI at 7 Tesla. NeuroImage 51, p. 261–6. (A new method for fMRI to achieve a spatial resolution of 1 mm (isotropic) of the whole brain in reasonable measurement times.)
  • P.J. Koopmans, R. Manniesing, W.J. Niessen, M.A. Viergever, M. Barth (2008) MR venography of the human brain using susceptibility weighted imaging at very high field strength. Magn Reson Mater Phys (MagMa) 21, 149-158. (The first demonstration of MRV/SWI at 7 Tesla.)
  • M. Barth, I.-M. Nöbauer-Huhmann, J.R. Reichenbach, V. Mlynárik, A. Schöggl, C. Matula, S. Trattnig. (2003) High-Resolution Three-Dimensional Contrast-Enhanced Blood Oxygenation Level-Dependent Magnetic Resonance Venography of Brain Tumors at 3 Tesla: First Clinical Experience and Comparison with 1.5 Tesla. Investigative Radiology 38, 409-414. (The first application of MRV/SWI at high fields in tumour patients, showing reduced acquisition times and superior image quality. First demonstration of phase effects in the periphery of aggressive tumours.)

View a complete list of publications on A/Prof Markus Barth’s eSpace profile.

Group members

Post-doctoral fellow Research Higher Degree Students

Saskia Bollmann
Marge Maallo
Aurelien Destruel


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