The MRI Facility for Integrative Neurosciences

Skyra scannerThis MRI Facility houses a new Siemens 64-channel 3-Tesla "Skyra" MRI System (Siemens Healthcare, Erlangen, Germany). The Siemens 64-channel 3T Skyra system is fully equipped for advanced neuroimaging. This system has a fast gradient system that provides high-speed spatial encoding, a 64-channel data acquisition system with digital wireless technology to improve SNR and temporal stability, and a dual-channel RF transmitter system for reduction of dielectric effects, and more flexible RF pulse design. The gradient rise time (200 mT/m/ms), peak gradient strength (45 mT/m per axis), and duty cycle (100% using full gradient strength on all three axes) are the highest specifications in the industry for whole-body systems. Also, the gradients have a balanced geometric design that results in less acoustic noise generation. Every hardware and software option that Siemens offers for neuroimaging is installed on this MRI system. Parallel imaging capabilities in one and two-dimensions enable EPI acquisitions at higher temporal resolution and with less geometric distortion. In addition, the IRC maintains an active Master Research Agreement with Siemens Healthcare that makes available advanced "works-in-progress" pulse sequences for EPI and structural neuroimaging to deal with specific technical challenges.

Mock MRI System in Davis

The simulated environment of an MRI system, consisting of a wood mock-up of an MRI system, non-functioning RF coils, and including a built-in speaker system for playing back recordings of the pulse sequence sounds is located in the Center for Neuroscience, across the street from the Skyra scanner. This environment also includes the visual and auditory stimulus presentation systems that are used in the actual MRI environment. Using the mock MRI system, potential subjects for the MRI scanning sessions can be acclimated to and trained for fMRI studies. A headphone-mounted motion detector trains subjects to become aware of their own head motion, which must be minimized during an actual scan.