Facilities

Image Processing and Analysis Lab (IPAL) IPAL2

The 997 sq ft IPAL is home to two faculty members, our image analyst, and students. Features of the IPAL include three private offices, a large common room with eight work station areas and conference table, a file storage/copy room, and restroom. The IPAL is also equipped with video projection equipment for presentations, making this space a truly immersive teaching environment allowing for active, engaged learning experiences for students and visiting researchers. Frequent meetings discussing data management and analysis, image acquisition, and manuscript preparation keep the IPAL  critical to the mission and progress of the BIRC.

MRI Room

The 1231 sq ft scanner space houses a scanner room, control room, equipment room, and patient changing room.  The BIRC scanner room has three custom wave guides, in addition to the primary penetration panel, to permit the MR-shielded and non-ferromagnetic application of visual stimulus projection, psychophysiological monitoring, and response acquisition devices. The adjacent control room permits constant visual and auditory contact with subjects in the scanner and contains the imaging control console and two additional computers to manage study stimulus and recording demands. A wide range of MR imaging sequences are available to support T1, T2, T2*, diffusion tensor/spectrum imaging, and magnetization transfer imaging.

Waiting Room

An 838 sq ft public space houses a receptionist area, waiting room, restroom, urinalysis lab, interview room, MRI Simulator room, and janitor’s facilities.

Interview Room

A private office space located on the fourth floor of the Psychiatric Research Institute allows for interviews and assessments to be administered in a comfortable, quiet manner. Both an individual interview room and a family meeting room are available for use as needed.

Equipment

MRI Scanner

The research imaging acquisition functions of the BIRC are performed by a Philips Achieva 3T X-series MRI system housed in a custom-designed MRI facility. The short flared-bore magnet offers 50 cm field-of-view (FOV) imaging capability and Quasar dual gradient design with gradient magnitudes up to 80 mT/m and gradient switching speeds (slew rates) up to 200 mT/m/ms. The FreeWave data acquisition system features 32-channel architecture, for which the BIRC has recently upgraded to a 32-channel phased array SENSE head coil for optimized signal-to-noise. In addition, an open-design 18-channel SENSE Neurovascular head coil is available to optimize brain coverage and support multimodal MRI application. An 8-channel head coil and integrated RF body coil are also available. The BIRC scanner room has three custom wave guides, in addition to the primary penetration panel, to permit the MR-shielded and non-ferromagnetic application of visual stimulus projection, psychophysiological monitoring, and response acquisition devices. The adjacent control room permits constant visual and auditory contact with subjects in the scanner and contains the imaging control console and two additional computers to manage study stimulus and recording demands. A wide range of MR imaging sequences are available to support T1, T2, T2*, diffusion tensor imaging, and magnetization transfer imaging

MRI Simulator

MRI SimulatorThe Psychology Software Tools, Inc. (PST) MRI Simulator (funded by the Translational Research Institute, UL1RR029884) is used in all BIRC research projects to introduce research participants to a realistic scanning environment, permitting them to gradually acclimate to the scanning environment, and to task-train prior to the actual fMRI session. The PST MRI Simulator enhances the safety, feasibility, and image quality aspects of BIRC research projects. The MRI Simulator system was designed to simulate the current Achieva 3T X-series and is equipped with the following features:  integrated control panel with buttons for lights, fan and motorized patient table, speakers & subwoofer, motorized patient table with drag sensing safety stop, manual table release, and task projection system.  The MRI Simulator is located in a designated MRI Simulator room in the PRI MRI waiting room.  This area is easily accessible to research staff and research participants.

Server

The IPAL server architecture consists of a PowerEdge R710 2U server operating Linux Red Hat OS with a master node and four auxillary nodes for 72 GB processing. Data storage and security utilizes SAN memory maintained by UAMS Central IT. The server offers a broad range of neuroimaging applications including AFNI, Matlab, SPM, and FSL.