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Magnetic Forces

(photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

On Mon., May 2, a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine was lowered into a specially shielded underground room in Moore Hall via an outdoor grate. According to John Van Horn,  Associate Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, the new machine offers numerous advantages over the old one.

"The new Philips Intera Achieva 3.0 Tesla MRI  benefits from the increase in magnetic field strength, which will give us superior contrast to noise and the multi-channel head coil delivers a faster, clearer image of brain activity," he  said.

Van Horn reports that, while the new scanner scans as fast as the old one (one image every two seconds), the new images created have less distortion, higher signal to noise and just look better. MRIs are used to take high-resolution images of the brain, and they also examine brain function over time. Researchers can virtually see the brain in action, aiding in studies of human cognition and neural chemistry.

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Last Updated: 12/17/08