Laboratory


677 Beacon St., Rooms 302, 303, and 308
Boston, MA 02215
phone: (617) 358-8110
lab email: cogneuro@bu.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Equipment Resources


Our laboratory spans 4 rooms (1337 sq) and can accommodate 15 individual personnel. This includes a primary laboratory suite (room 308, 621 sq), 2 office/computing suites (room 303, 375 sq. room 302, 175 sq), and 1 shared psychophysical testing room (room 305, 166 sq). The primary suite contains 1 boardroom table, 1 projector, 6 workstations, 2 electroencephalographic (EEG) recording facilities with double-walled electrically shielded chambers (9’L x 7’W x 8’H), and 1 sink for cleaning electrode caps. Room 302 contains 4 workstations and room 303 contains 5 workstations and a common area with 1 collaboration table, 5 chairs, and a 75” flat screen for science presentations and conference calls. We also share 5 additional behavioral/psychophysical testing rooms in the Center for Integrated Life Sciences and Engineering (CILSE) of Boston University.

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Our laboratory has numerous MR-compatible noninvasive electrical brain stimulation platforms. We have a 9-channel M x N high-definition transcranial electrical stimulator (HD-tES; Soterix Medical), complete with accessories (e.g., connecting cables, HD electrodes, HD holders, Easycaps, Signa gel, Easycase, batteries, etc.). This high-end neuromodulation platform allows for high-definition direct-current, alternating-current, oscillatory direct-current, pulse current, and random-noise stimulation procedures. Our laboratory is also equipped with a 33-channel M x N high-definition transcranial electrical stimulator, which allows for sub-gyri and multi-region targeting with image-guided neuronavigation, customizable waveforms at 33 independent stimulation channels, and fully integrated close-looped applications. Additionally, we have an interferential or temporal interference stimulator, which promises noninvasive stimulation at depth based on the summation of two high frequency sine waves of slightly different frequencies resulting in a waveform that is a high frequency carrier-wave modulated by a low frequency envelope oscillating at a “beat” frequency. In addition, Soterix Medical and our laboratory have collaborated to create custom trigger solution hardware and related Matlab software for the temporal synchronization between HD-tES and the Brain Products EEG system. Our laboratory is equipped with HD-Targets and HD-Explore neurotargeting software packages (Soterix Medical), CURRY 7.0 multimodal neuroimaging software (Compumedics Neuroscan), and Brain Vision Analyzer II EEG software (Brain Products).

For behavioral and electrophysiological data acquisition, our laboratory has 2 state-of-the-art, electrically shielded, sound-attenuated chambers (9’L x 7’W x 8’H; ETS Lindgren) for high capacity data collection, equipped with visual monitoring of participants, and audio systems enabling participant-researcher communication at any time. Each recording chamber is equipped with a high-end PC for stimulus presentation and a high-end PC that performs data acquisition of the EEG data using Brain Products Recorder software. The stimuli are presented on 24-inch ASUS LED displays (144 Hz refresh rate, 1 ms response). Each recording chamber is also equipped with a Brain Products ActiChamp Amplifier with 160-channel capability, 24-bit resolution, twelve 32-channel arrays of active electrodes, and dozens of individual active electrodes. Twelve electrode caps of all adult sizes are available so that participants with the same size head can be run back-to-back. We also have R-net saltwater sponge-based passive electrode systems for rapid preparation and high recording flexibility. In addition, the laboratory is equipped with CapTrak electrode localization equipment (Brain Products) for co-registration of surface potentials with anatomical and functional imaging data to facilitate multimodal imaging and for increased precision of 3D locations of electrodes for EEG source reconstruction. Our laboratory contains timing utilities from Brain Products to ensure reliable timing accuracy between operating systems and video/audio hardware.

The laboratory is outfitted with extensive computing resources. This includes: 4 Titan W375 workstations (128 cores/256 threads, AMD EPYC Rome processors, 2048 GB RAM), 4 Titan W599 workstations (36 cores/72 threads, Intel Xeon Gold 6154 processor, 512 GB RAM), 1 Lenovo workstation (18 cores/36 threads, Intel Xeon Gold 6254 processor, 64 GB RAM), 5 iMac 5K computers (10 cores/20 threads, Intel i9 processor, 64 GB RAM), and 4 Dell XPS computers (7 cores/14 threads, Intel Core i7 7700 processor, 64 GB RAM). We also have 1 dedicated Alienware X17 laptop (8 cores,16 threads, Intel Core i9, 64 GB RAM) for stimulus presentation in fMRI experiments. We also have access to an EyeLink II infrared video eye tracker (SR Research) and laser printer. All computers have Matlab licenses so that they can be used for development of new experiments using Psychtoolbox and EEG data analysis. All computers have Matlab toolboxes installed including EEGLAB, ERPLAB, FieldTrip, and Brain Connectivity. In addition to our laboratory databases, we have an active project account with Boston University’s Shared Computing Cluster (SCC), a massively parallel high performance computer cluster, important for computationally intensive analyses of large datasets, allowing efficient analysis and processing of data.

Additionally, our laboratory has ready access to a Siemens MAGNETOM Prisma scanner, a state-of-the-art, whole-body superconductive Zero Helium Boil-off 3T magnet with a XR 80/200 gradient system with a 64 channel head coil. The scanner is located in the newly constructed Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Scienceand Engineering (1-minute walk from our laboratory) and supported by a number of dedicated MR technologists. The 3T scanner is equipped with a VPixx Tech PROPixx Lite projection system, an EyeLink 1000 Plus eye tracker, a Sensimetrics S15 auditory system, and BIOPAC physiological monitoring system. In the Kilachand Center, we have access to functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) equipment, and multiple cognitive neuroscience and RF-shielded physiological research rooms. Our laboratory recently integrated our noninvasive brain stimulation tools with fMRI/MRI to allow for concurrent stimulation and neuroimaging protocols.