Neuroscience Imaging Center

The Neuroscience Imaging Center (NIC: map), located in and adjacent to Irvine Hall, houses both our High Resolution Research Tomography (HRRT) PET scanner and our 3T Philips Achieva MRI scanner.  This research-dedicated MRI scanning facility, operated by Dr. David Keator, is designed to suit a wide range of basic and translational research programs by researchers across the UCI campus and beyond.

NIC’s High Resolution Research Tomography (HRRT) offers the highest resolution PET images available (~2mm isotropic resolution). UCI’s scanner is one of only sixteen in the world, and five in the U.S. It has more than 120,000 LSO/LYSO detectors arranged in dual layers to enhance resolution throughout the entire brain image. This enhanced resolution allows movement, emotion, and reward circuits to be distinguished from each other. This is not possible with other scanners, including the newest PET-CT scanners.

The NIC also houses a 3 Tesla, actively shielded, Philips Achieva scanner.  A number of radio frequency coils are available for a variety of purposes:  32 and 8 channel receive-only phased array SENSE head coils, a 12 element receive/transmit birdcage head coil, a dual hydrogen and sodium imaging head coil, a breast coil, two upper body/torso receive coils, region specific “FLEX” coils, and the built in receive and transmit whole body antenna.   The scanner comes equipped with the Quasar Dual gradient set which allows for maximum gradient amplitudes of 80 mT/m and slew rates of 200mT/m, almost twice as powerful as conventional 3 Tesla systems.  In addition, a range of stimulus response and delivery peripheral equipment and software for fMRI are interfaced with the scanner.

The Neuroscience Imaging Center has a multidisciplinary team of physicians, physicists, biomedical engineers, psychologists, and computer programmers keeping the facility at the forefront of the continuing advances in brain imaging methodology.  In addition, our advanced cyber infrastructure for data analysis and image fusion, segmentation and neuroinformatics research further contribute to the nationally recognized work that has come from our Center.