An Acquisition Core provides technical support for magnetic resonance and optical imaging protocol development and implementation, imaging quality assurance, and for implementing approaches for ancillary methods such as EEG/ERP, TMS, physiological monitoring and gating, neuropsychological task design, and behavioral response monitoring.
The Acquisition Core consolidates expertise in neuroimaging physics and engineering at the University of Pennsylvania to support a broad range of imaging methodologies relevant to the NINDS mission to reduce the burden of neurological disease. The primary supported acquisition strategy is MRI, which provides multiple contrast mechanisms relevant to brain structure and function. For this, the Data Acquisition Core leverages the availability of multiple research MRI systems at the University of Pennsylvania including human whole-body MRI systems operating at 3 Tesla and 7 Tesla and animal MRI system operating at 4.7 Tesla and 9.4 Tesla.
The Acquisition Core also supports optical imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as well as a range of ancillary instrumentation used for stimulus delivery and biobehavioral response monitoring during neuroimaging. By consolidating technical expertise in neuroimaging, NNC users benefit from simplified access to methodological consultations for protocol optimization and support in implementing and troubleshooting new imaging strategies.
Consolidation of technical expertise also improves efficiency and reduces the cost of neuroimaging research since most technical problems need not be solved separately for each project. Accordingly, neuroimaging application projects do not need to budget for extensive methodological support.
Finally, consolidation of technical expertise fosters a highly collaborative environment for both Core personnel and Core users leading to new approaches and research directions and rapid dissemination of methodological advances to the entire user community.