The CBS Neuroimaging Center operates a 3.0 T Siemens Tim Trio whole-body MRI system which is fully equipped for advanced brain imaging. This scanner has a short-bore (2m) magnet, a fast gradient system that provides high-speed structural and functional imaging, and a 32-channel data acquisition system with 32 1-MHz receiver channels for parallel imaging with acceleration factors up to four-fold. The gradient rise time (200 mT/m/ms), peak gradient strength (40 mT/m per axis), and duty cycle are the best specifications in the industry for whole-body systems. Multi-dimensional parallel imaging capabilities enable echo-planar imaging (EPI) acquisitions at higher temporal resolution and with less geometric distortion. Two multi-channel RF head coils are available. The Siemens 32-channel head coil takes full advantage of the 32 receiver channel architecture, and provides the highest signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), especially on the periphery of the brain. A Siemens 12-channel (matrix) coil provides excellent SNR while also providing more space between the head and the coil for headphones and goggles for enhanced auditory and visual presentation.
The MR simulator or “mock scanner” suite is available to investigators to acclimate research subjects, prepare experimental paradigms, and train research staff for actual MRI studies. The mock magnet simulates the real MRI scanner and introduces research subjects, including normal and clinical populations, children and adults, to the scanning environment. This permits subjects to gradually become accustomed to the scanning procedure and trained to minimize movement.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Laboratory
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) activates the brain via electromagnetic induction. It is suitable for modulating activity in the cerebral cortex. TMS is a powerful research tool because it allows determining causal relations between brain areas and their functional roles. TMS can be applied with millisecond temporal precision and with a spatial accuracy of ~7-20 mm depending on the coil type. TMS can be recorded simultaneously with EEG/EMG, and functional MRI. The device is sited in a room immediately adjacent to the MRI scanner, which allows subjects to be scanned, TMS applied, and rescanned in rapid succession. The system includes (1) a MagPro X100 with MagOption Magnetic Stimulator; (2) a Cool-B65 A/P (active/placebo for double-blinded studies) dynamic cooled butterfly coil, which is optimized for high repetition rates and long pulse trains, as well as (3) a C-B60 Butterfly Coil; (4) Coil cooler; and (5) an MEP (Motor Evoked Potentials) Monitor, 1 channel EMG amplifier for determination of Motor Threshold. A Brainsight 2 Neuronavigation System is used to position the TMS coil to target specific brain areas.
Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and imaging uses near infrared light between 650 and 950 nm to non-invasively probe the concentration and oxygenation of hemoglobin in the brain, muscle and other tissues and is used e.g. to detect changes induced by brain activity, injury, or disease. In brain research it complements functional MRI by providing measures of both oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin concentrations and by enabling studies in populations of subjects with experimental paradigms that are not amenable to fMRI.
Upon entering the Neuroimaging Facility participants will find a spacious and comfortable main waiting area as well as a beautiful child waiting/play room. A separate room for consenting ensures the privacy of our participants. There are also three rooms within the facility for behavioral testing and physiological monitoring. One room is reserved for the exclusive use of investigators during their MRI scan time.