Neuroimaging Core

Neuroimaging Acquisition and Analysis Core

The primary objective of the Neuroimaging Acquisition and Analysis Core within the Cognitive Neuroscience of Development and Aging (CoNDA) Center is to support the Center’s innovative and collaborative research by providing the resources, major equipment, and technical expertise necessary for state-of-the-art assessment of human brain structure, function, and dynamics. The Core is directed by Dr. Dave Warren, whose expertise stretches across multiple neuroimaging modalities, participant populations, and data analytic approaches. The Neuroimaging Acquisition and Analysis Core provides researchers with the below resources.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
The CoNDA Center oversees a new research-dedicated 3-Tesla Siemens Prisma MRI scanner, equipped with 20-, 32-, and 64-channel head coils, as well as other coils for cardiac, spinal, and other types of imaging. The instrument is configured with multiband imaging capabilities and many experimental, research-only, and commercial sequences, including numerous MRI sequences for advanced diffusion, spectroscopy, structural, and functional brain imaging. The system has the [204×64] XR 80/200 gradients (the most powerful commercially available gradients). The Prisma MRI Suite is also equipped with the necessary peripherals to present experimental stimuli and acquire behavioral responses, including a 32” in-room LCD monitor for presenting stimuli and multiple ergonomic subject response devices.

Brain Stimulation
The CoNDA Center is also equipped with state-of-the-art electrical brain stimulation equipment, including three Soterix Medical systems. The suite includes a standard two-pad tDCS system, a two-pad transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) system, a five-lead multipolar high-definition tDCS system (HD-tDCS), and a five-lead alternating-current stimulation (tACS) system. All of the systems are equipped with settings for sham-stimulation, which allows investigators to use “placebo-controlled” experimental designs. In addition to the stimulators, there is a Polhemus digitizer for coregistering the stimulation sponges or metal electrodes to neuroanatomical images. Users also have access to advanced software for finite-element modeling (FEM) of current flow using the participant’s individual anatomy.

Magnetoencephalography (MEG)
Our facility houses a 306-channel whole-head MEG system and an expansive collection of magnetically-silent stimulus presentation equipment for cognitive neuroscience type experiments. The Elekta/MEGIN model instrument is equipped with 102 magnetometers and 204 planar-gradiometers (306 independent magnetic sensors), and has the capability for simultaneous acquisition of 64-channel EEG. The instrument is housed within a room equipped with active shielding and includes the latest technology for head motion correction. The facility will undergo a major upgrade in early 2021, including the addition of a new MEGIN Triux Neo MEG system, through a recent S10 award from the NIH (S10-OD028751). 

Data Processing
The CoNDA Center includes a high-performance computing space. This space currently includes over 50 high-performance workstations for data processing, a 36 terabyte (RAID5) storage array for MEG and MRI data, and a video conferencing system for virtual meetings. Each computer has Matlab and other important software for euroimaging and statistical analyses, including many packages such as SPM, FSL, AFNI, FreeSurfer, CONN, R, and other leading toolboxes. Many of the computers are also equipped with the Brain Electrical Source Analysis (BESA) software, SPSS, and current-distribution modeling software. The open concept space encourages collaborative programming (e.g., algorithm development) and data processing efforts among students and faculty.