Facilities & Equipment
MR imaging is performed with a Siemens 3T Prisma Fit 60 cm bore (RF coil ID) whole body scanner with EPI, second order shimming, CINE, MR angiography, diffusion, perfusion, and spectroscopy capabilities. This system uses gradients with 80 mT/m @ 200 T/m/s slew rate. The system is equipped with a 32-channel coil and a 64-channel coil.The 64-channel coil has increased signal to noise ratio and shorter scan times.
Physiological Monitoring during MRI Scanning
MP150 Data Acquisition System (BIOPAC). The BIOPAC system offers a series of MRI-compatible electrodes, electrode leads, transducers, and stimulus options for safe data acquisition of physiological signals in the MRI environment. Physiological signals that can be recorded during an MRI scan include: Electrocardiogram (ECG), Electromyogram (EMG), Electroculogram (EOG), Temperature, Respiration, Pulse, Hand Grip Strength (Dynamometry), Finger Twitch. Proprietary AcqKnowledge program offers an interactive and intuitive way to instantly view, measure, analyze, and transform data. Online analysis settings, filters, and transformations provide real-time feedback.
VisuaStim Digital (Resonance Technology) is an all-digital audio-visual stimulation technology designed for functional MRI (fMRI) applications. It can be used to broadcast high quality audio and video signal from the computer in the control room to the subject in the scanner. Dual-display stereoscopic video yields 3D images, which deliver visual paradigms that appear to emerge from the screen. Head mounted display operates inside the magnet bore. The display features eye-relief optics for subject’s comfort. Display resolution of 500,000 pixels per 0.25 square inch makes it possible to clearly see small text delivered from a PC. The unit has a refresh rate of up to 85 Hz. Contrast ratio benefits from each pixel being illuminated independently without the need for backlighting. The high contrast ratio is maintained in magnetic fields greater than 4.7T. Digital audio system features a 30 dB noise-attenuating headset with 40Hz-40kHz frequency response.
The VisuaStim system and View Pint Software (Arrington Research) feature eye-tracking and recording capabilities. VisuaStim Digital controller provides interface for paradigm delivery, connecting to the eye-tracker module.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
The Magstim Rapid is a repetitive, biphasic stimulator with high frequency capabilities. It is ideal for therapeutic applications as well as a wide variety of research fields. This system features an image-guided TMS delivery via Brainsight 2 software. Users can input an anatomical scan in a number of formats including DICOM, MINC, Analyze, PAR/REC, NIFTI, and VMR/VMP. Regions for stimulation can either be imported as an overlay in MNI or Talairach space, or hand drawn. Approach angles and coil orientation can be manipulated with the built in controls. A single operator can run the TMS session using either built-in voice recognition or the Apple Remote.
NeRVe Data Processing Cluster
The centerpiece of the NeRVe Image Processing Cluster are Supermicro 6026TT SuperServers, each incorporating four dual Intel Xeon processors from an extremely dense and powerful solution. Fully, configured, the Image Processing Cluster boasts 384 Cores with over 2 TBs of aggregate memory. Each node supports dual gigabit Ethernet and a single DDR Infiniband networking interconnects supported by both a 48 port Gibabit Switch and 24 port Mellanox DDR Infiniband switch providing high speed 20Gb/sec MPI throughput for high performance image processing.
The laboratory hosts a local area network with over 30 advanced Macintosh Computers and peripherals as well as an extensive software library (FreeSurfer, FSL, SPM, AFNI, MatLab, etc) to support neuroimaging research. The network is connected via four layer 3 Netgear managed gigabit switches. These switches allow rapid access to shared network resources that include three servers with dual quad core Intel Xeon processors, over 180 TB’s of dedicated RAID storage and an Exabyte 48 slot tape back up system.