MRI at Brown
The MRF occupies a 3,000 sq. ft. research suite in Sidney Frank Hall designed to house two MRI systems: a whole-body 3T MRI system and a soon to be added high-field, small-bore MRI. The suite also features space for data analysis, psychophysical testing, and an animal preparation room.
The centerpiece of the MRF is a state-of-the-art research dedicated Siemens 3T TIM Trio scanner. The scanner is equipped with 32 receiver channels for significant gains in signal to noise ratio and acquisition speed.
MRF System Resources
Visual stimuli may be presented with a rear projection system to a screen located at the rear of the scanner.
A long-range infrared video based eye tracker (SMI) is available for recording and analysis of point of gaze and pupilometry data during scanning. The system currently operates at 60 Hz and is expected to be upgraded to at least 320 Hz in the near future.
The Avotec SS-3100 Silent Scan™ Audio System offers excellent noise reduction for studies incorporating auditory stimuli. A few of the features included in the system are: flat frequency response, for uniform audio output; calibration that measures sound pressure level delivered to the subject; high audio signal levels (on the order of 120dBA); gain selection for audio input (to compensate for sound card outputs; and a range of digital inputs from CD to computer generated inputs.
Designed to be completely MRI compatible, the Invivo Physiological monitoring system allows the researcher to wirelessly monitor ECG and SpO2 from the control room. The system also features Non-Invasive Blood Pressure, low-flow end tidal CO2, continuous temperature and cardiac monitoring.
An infrared video system allows visual monitoring of volunteers during studies with minimal or no lighting.
Manual responses may be collected with a Mag Design and Engineering four-button response pad with adjustable wrist cushion for subject comfort and decreased fatigue.
A High Performance Computing cluster, along with several workstations, is available for data analysis and short-term data storage. The cluster consists of 18 Apple dual-processor G5 XServes. Each cluster node has about 3 GB of RAM. A 2.3 TB RAID serves as a data storage device. There is an off-site backup RAID that serves to preserve data integrity. Available software includes AFNI, MATLAB, SPM, FreeSurfer, FSL and Brain Voyager.
Magnet-safe eye glasses with a range of lens powers are available for visual studies.
Sidney Frank Hall, Meeting Street, Providence
The MRF is located on the ground level of the new Sidney E. Frank Hall for Life Sciences on the main campus of Brown University.
Other Brain Imaging at Brownn
The Brain Science Program has two research-dedicated EEG systems: a 64-channel and a 128-channel system. The 64-channel EEG system is administered by Dr. William Heindel. The 128-channel EEG system is administered by Dr. Jerome Sanes. They are used to investigate visual, memory, and motor system function in normal and brain impaired humans.