In this article, you will get an overview of what equipment you need to be able to perform an fMRI exam. To perform an fMRI exam four main components are required:
First, in order to acquire fMRI data, an MR scanner with fMRI specific pulse (Echo Planar Imaging) sequence is required. Most higher filed strength magnets (1.5T -3T) have the EPI sequence built into them.
The most common MR vendors are –
*All NordicNeuroLab products are compatible with all above.
Second, a library of paradigms designed to increase metabolic activity in the area of the brain responsible for a particular sensorimotor process is required. These tasks need to be presented to the patient while inside the MR scanner.
NordicNeuroLab can provide you with the stimulus presentation software nordicAktiva
Third, and most importantly, MR-compatible hardware is needed to present auditory and visual stimulus to the patient. A response device is necessary to record patient responses, and a synchronization device is required to ensure precise timing between MR image acquisition with the onset of the stimuli.
NordicNeuroLab offers two types of visual stimulus hardware
NordicNeuroLab provides a turnkey solution for clinical fMRI. It is a complete and user-friendly system for simplifying and standardizing implementation of functional MRI in clinical environments.
Fourth, once the data is collected, a software is required to perform statistical analysis of fMRI data and overlay it on the high resolution anatomical MR images.
The combination of fMRI and eye-tracking is a very powerful tool in neuroscience and has led to many advances in neuropsychology, neuropsychiatric, neurophysiology, and basic science (Bonhage et al. 2015; Tylen et al. 2012; Hausler et al. 2016; Kalpouzos et al. 2010; Kim et al. 2020)
The NordicNeuroLab VSHD are the only MR compatible goggles with integrated binocular eye-tracking. The video-based PCCR eye-tracking
technology uses two active glint points and an adjustable camera focus for precise and reliable tracking of each eye.
The DCE analysis uses two-compartment extended Tofts modeling to generate output maps such as volume transfer constant (Ktrans), rate constant (Kep), plasma volume (Vp), fractional volume (Ve), time to peak (TTP), and area under the curve (AUC). Output maps and results including volume-of-interest statistics, tissue response curves, and histograms can be saved and exported to PACS. In addition, the Ktrans map can be thresholded and exported to neuronavigation platforms.
nordicBrainEx is a vendor neutral clinical, DICOM-compatible post-processing software that is designed to be user-friendly and contribute to improved neuroradiolosgist workflow and productivity. Advanced volume of interest tools, 2D/3D visualization of BOLD activation areas, DTI tractography, and perfusion maps, combined with advanced interaction tools allow clinicians to perform extensive evaluations of brain tissue surrounding pathological areas. All processed data can be saved in a comprehensive report, exported to PACS or presurgical planning and neuronavigation systems.
To access the tutorial you can sign-up to the NNL Academy for free. There you’ll have access to all our tutorials for nordicBrainEx, nordicICE, and nordicAktiva.
Are you a neuroscientist interested in studying how memories are created and how we use memory to navigate in space?
Or a neurologist who would like to develop non-invasive methods for early detection of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other forms of dementia?
Perhaps you are a neuropsychologist who would like to understand the neurophysiological manifestations of phobias and PTSD and design better treatment strategies? Or maybe a neuromarketing researcher who would like to study how our mind responds to certain stimuli on the neurophysiological and neurofunctional level to apply this knowledge to marketing applications?
The MR environment presents a challenge to do Virtual Reality inside an MR because the commercial VR equipment isn’t MR compatible. At CAMH (Center for Addiction and Mental Health) they are using an LCD screen for visual presentation. Recent advancements now allow participants to have a more virtual experience through the use of MR compatible goggles.
fMRI studies with Virtual Reality have been performed by presenting the VR outside of the MR environment and then doing an MRI scan.
We believe that the VisualSystem HD from NordicNeuroLab is a solution to this issue and gives the researcher the opportunity to do an immersive stimulus presentation during the scan. Not only will this enhance the immersive experience, but we believe that this will improve the quality of your results.
Our team of Application Scientist have created a PDF to give you an introduction to immersive technology for functional neuroimaging.
In 2007, Samsung was the world’s largest mobile device manufacturer. The same year Apple Inc introduced the iPhone to the world. The iPhone became a game-changer for the mobile device industry and the fascination for the device has had an impact on people’s lives, but also their brains.
Neuroscientists Prof. Dr. Jürgen Gallinat and Dr. Simone Kühn conducted an fMRI study to see if and how people’s brains responded differently to an Apple product vs. a Samsung product.
During this experiment, the neuroscientist was using the old VisualSystem from NordicNeuroLab to present the stimulus to the research attendees (Learn more about the new improved VisualSystem HD here)
The 25 participants attended the study and they were presented with pictures of Samsung and Apple products. Based on the fMRI results they discovered that the Samsung products stimulated the prefrontal cortex and the Apple product stimulated a part of the brain responsible for liking people.
One interpretation is that Samsung is more a product for the “mind” while Apple is more a product that evokes “gut-feelings”
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Gallinat
How do we make our buying decisions? Do we make decisions consciously based on facts, reason, and logic? Or do we actually make decisions unconsciously based on emotions, feelings, and intuition?
For instance, what do you prefer? Coca Cola or Pepsi? Most importantly: why?
This is what Neuromarketing is trying to answer, and therefore neuroscientist use techniques such as fMRI, and stimulus presentation tools like VisualSystem HD, to understand how our brains respond to different advertising, products, and how they affect our buying decisions.
In the last few decades, neuroscientist have made enormous breakthroughs in understanding how our brains work by monitoring them in real time. One of the techniques being used is functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Usually, the participants are given tasks through fMRI equipment like the InroomViewingDevice or VisualSystem HD. These tasks can be language tasks or math problems.
Doing these tasks activates specific parts of the brain, but when the participants listened to music, multiple parts of the brain was activated.
Someone took it a step further by creating instruments with materials that weren’t magnetic and played the instrument while doing an functional MRI scan.
Playing a musical instrument engages practically every area of the brain at once, especially the visual, auditory, and monitor cortices.
Anita Collins – TED-Ed
Learning to play any instrument has great benefits. At NordicNeuroLab we have several of our employees who play instrument on a regular basis. And we encourage each other to pick up a new song or an instrument, simply because it’s good for the brain.
Learning new songs, or new instruments is always hard but it is also equally rewarding.
Trond Ytrøy – VPO at NordicNeuroLab
Based on the latest ranking of the best global universities for Neuroscience and Behavior, we are proud to announce that nine of the top ten list are NordicNeuroLab customers.
Our journey, as a company, started in Bergen, Norway in 2001. Since then we’ve had over 2000 installations in 70+ countries, and we are still growing.
Best Global Universities for Neuroscience and Behavior according to U.S.News & World Report:
|RANK||NNL CUSTOMER||UNIVERSITY NAME|
|2||x||University of California – San Francisco|
|3||x||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|5||x||University College London|
|6||x||Johns Hopkins University|
|8||x||University of Pennsylvania|
|9||Washington University in St. Louis|
|10||x||University of Oxford|