An advanced scanner that could help scientists better understand brain activity and human behaviour has been installed at a new Plymouth research facility.
The Siemens Prisma MRI scanner is the first piece of machinery installed in the Brain Research & Imaging Centre (BRIC) – a multimillion pound facility currently under construction at Plymouth Science Park.
BRIC is a collaboration between the University of Plymouth, the research charity DDRC Healthcare and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHPNT), and is set to build on the University’s leading expertise in brain and the mind.
The BRIC MRI scanner will be equipped with multiple additional brain imaging technologies, to provide the first multi-modal MRI facility in the region. This means it is capable of measuring signals simultaneously from more than one imaging technique – allowing researchers to gather more data more quickly than with just one scan.
At BRIC, the scanner will be used to explore a variety of topics including how the human brain encodes socially relevant information to guide our decisions, and how the two cerebral hemispheres of the brain work together – known as interhemispheric interaction.
The MRI scanner will be the centrepiece of one of seven laboratories based at BRIC, with the other six focusing on different but connected aspects of brain function, from motor control to brain stimulation.
Set to open for research in early 2021, BRIC will welcome postgraduate students in human neuroscience for teaching sessions in the next academic year.