Laboratory: The BIRC facilities include dedicated spaces for functional brain imaging for computing, and image and data analysis. The center thus contains all of the resources necessary for integrated studies of human brain function. It houses all of the research scanners and personnel in one contiguous facility.
MRI: A 3.0 Tesla Siemens Prisma scanner is available for structural and functional MRI scanning, as well as for magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). This system has 80mT/m maximum amplitude gradient hardware, and a slew rate of 200T/m/sec with a 100% duty cycle. It also includes a 20-channel and a 64-channel receiver array head-coil and parallel imaging capabilities. This system is also equipped with 32-channel spine coil, shoulder coil, hand/wrist coil, foot/ankle coil, knee coil, and 18-channel body coil. The signal quality and operating characteristics of the scanner are routinely monitored using ACR and fBIRN phantoms. The scanner has shown excellent stability over its lifetime.
The scanner has connections for peripheral computers to run stimulus presentation programs (e.g., PsychoPy, E-prime, Presentation), including a hookup such that users can run paradigms from their own laptop computers and response pads to record participant button presses. The scanner allows for visual presentation via back projection screens and has TTL pulses recorded to facilitate synchronization of scanning and experimental paradigms.
Additional systems allow for simultaneous EEG/ERP (256-channel EGI), Eye Tracking (SR Research Eye Link 1000 Plus), and subject monitoring of heart rate, pulse oximetry, and respiration. An Avotec sound system is used for audio presentation and communication.
Mock MRI: There is also an MR simulator in a dedicated room in the BIRC that allows for training of subjects that might have difficulty staying still in the magnet (such as children) and also for subjects that might suffer from mild claustrophobia. The mock scanner includes equipment for displaying stimuli and for monitoring and providing feedback on head motion via and will be used for orientation to the MRI environment and training and in-scanner tasks.
EEG: The BIRC houses two 256-channel EEG systems from EGI with a full range electrode caps in pediatric and adult sizes. A Net Amps 410 is available for simultaneous EEG/MRI and a Net Amps 400 GTEN system is available for out-of-scanner use. The latter is equiped with a neuromodulation package and software for high density tDCS, tACS, tRNS and tPCS. An EGI Geodesic Photogammetry System (GPS) is available for electrode localization in conjunction with EEG or tDCS studies.
TMS: A MagVentures MagPro X100 with MagOption is available for TMS. This system is capable of generating high duty biphasic and monophasic pulse sequences for single pulse, paired pulse or repetitive stimulation. The system is equipped with flat and 120º butterfly coils, and a liquid-cooled blinded active/sham butterfly coil. Pulse localization on individual anatomy is facilitated by a Localite TMS Navigator system.
Computing: The center houses a high-end data processing lab, featuring 5 high-end Mac Workstations with common software (e.g. AFNI, FSL, Freesurfer, MATLAB, R). In addition to in-house computing, two high performance computing (HPC) systems are available to U Conn faculty, providing access to accelerated GPU and parallel computing totaling over 60 TFlops.
Testing and Recording Rooms: There are 3 behavioral testing rooms adjacent to the scanner bays where subjects can be trained and/or tested pre- and post-scanning as well as a sound-attenuated chamber than can be used to record audio stimuli to be used in experiments.