MRI Facilities & Equipment

Scanning Facilities: Siemens 3 Tesla Prisma Fit MRI Scanner equipped with 20, 32 and 64 channel head coils. High speed image reconstruction is facilitated by an additional GPU computing system.

Peripherals: Siemens headphone/speak system, Siemens physiological measurement system which includes pulse, respiration and EKG Resonance Technology Corporation (RTC) Visuastim digital system which includes goggles/headphone/controller unit, Optoacoustics noise cancellation headphones and microphone, LCD projection system controlled via fiberoptic cabling, Avotech mini projector system, Current Design 4-button and 2-button response pad and a 32 channel electronic interface and power supply unit, BioPac MP150 for collecting physiological measures including skin conductance, respiration rate, and pulse rate/waveform.

Computing: Dedicated MacIntosh computer running E-Prime, Psychtoolbox and dual-boot with a Windows partition. Contact the MR Technician to install new software.

Sequences: Standard Siemens sequences include: anatomical, functional (BOLD and arterial spin labeling), diffusion-weighted, arterial spin labelling, spectroscopic imaging. Special sequences include slice-interleaved multiband for higher scanning rates. New sequence installation and materials transfer agreements may be arranged by contacting Shruthi Chakrapani or Mark Cohen.

A daily long-term stability test is performed on the scanner to ensure that the scanner is within manufacturer specifications. Vendor supplied, “stability_longterm_check” which is under the quality assurance scanning protocol is specifically utilized. This is comprised of a fifteen minute long 5 slice echo-planar sequence with a TR of 1second. A 45° flip angle is used instead of siemens specified default flip angle as this increases sensitivity to fluctuations in the RF power amplifier. Studies are not performed unless the signal stability, after first order linear drift correction, has peak to signal fluctuations of less than 0.4%.

Simulator: An MRI simulator that gives subjects an experience similar to live scanning is available.

Testing Facility: A dedicated private room for screening, pre-testing, interviews.

Electronics & Machine Shop: Facilities for fabrication of specialized devices required by the users, such as radio receiver coils, stimulation and response devices, holders and stabilizers for subjects.

Neurophysiology Testing Suite: Two fully shielded EEG suites and prep room. One houses a Bio-Semi 64 channel EEG system using active electrodes. The second houses an EGI GES300 MR system, compatible with MRI.