3T MRI Lab

Philips Achieva

The centerpiece of the Imaging Research Center is a Philips 3T Achieva system with Quasar dual gradients and 32 receiver channels (Philips Medical Systems, Best Netherlands). This system is used for both human and animal research studies and was installed in the fall of 2008. In addition to the scanner, the 3T suite houses a behavioral testing room, subject waiting/preparation rooms, an image processing room, and a small conference room.

IRC Philips 3T

The Achieva 3.0T X-series features an actively shielded, super-conducting magnet with large 50cm FOV capabilities. The RF system provides 32 RF receive channels, and the scanner has a comprehensive collection of surface coils including a 32 channel phased-array cardiac coil. In the summer of 2009 the system will be augmented with a 32 channel head coil and an “rf box” that will permit the construction of custom-built coils. The X-series Quasar Dual gradient allows selection of either 40 mT/m peak amplitude combined with a slew rate of 200 mT/m/ms or - in studies that profit from high gradient amplitude, such as diffusion- weighted imaging - a 80 mT/m peak amplitude. Both performance levels can be achieved over the entire FOV with good linearity. The gradient system design is force-balanced to minimize vibration levels and acoustic noise. The system also has ancillary equipment to support fMRI studies including a full audiovisual paradigm system by Avotec.

An audiovisual (AV) system in the 3T scanner suite permits advanced visual and auditory fMRI stimuli to be conveniently presented to research subjects. Two Avotec systems, Silent Vision 6011 and Silent Vision 7021 (equipped for eye-tracking), are used for presentation of visual stimuli. The Avotec Silent Scan 3100 system is used for presentation of auditory stimuli. These AV components are connected using an AV switch that permits the desired input source to be easily selected from a numeric touchpad. Available sources include Mac, PC, DVD player, and CD player inputs.

For those fMRI paradigms that require patient response, a fiber optic response pad (fORP) interface unit is available. The fORP interface accepts a variety of handheld button configurations and is compatible with many of the popular fMRI paradigm software programs including DirectRT, MacStim, E-Prime, SuperLab, and Presentation.