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information/equipment

What facilities, hardware and applications are available for you to use?

YNiC understands the importance of investing in technology and the value of accurate scientific measurement. As such, we have invested extensively in both industry leading technologies for measurement, stimulus delivery and subject response capture as well as in-house development of competitive hardware solutions and software applications to improve, refine or replace those industry solutions which we feel require improvement.

Below follows an overview of the equipment and resources available at YNiC including information about the scanners, TMS equipment, stimulus delivery equipment, participant response devices, analysis resources as well as all the associated software solutions used.

Scanners and equipment

Stimulus Delivery Hardware

Visual

  • MRI:
    • Projector: Dukane 8942 ImagePro 4500 lumens LCD projector.

    • Screen: Custom in-bore acrylic rear projection screen subtending 45 x 30 degree visual angle in MRI
  • MEG:
    • Projector: Dukane 8942 ImagePro 4500 lumens LCD projector.

    • Screen: Custom suspended 1.5 x 1.2 m fabric rear projection screen subtending > 65 x 30 degree visual field in MEG

Auditory

Somatosensory Stimulation

  • Electrical stimulation (2 channels): Single pulses or trains, fully electrically isolated
  • Pneumatic stimulators (5 channels): Varying pulses intensity and duration
  • Vibro-tactile array (4 x 2 channels): Braille cell, all pins individually programmable

Calibration Hardware

  • Auditory
    • B&K equipment for calibration of auditory equipment

  • Visual:
    • Colour and gamma correction calibration available
  • Timing:
    • Black Box Toolkit: Multimodal. Visual, auditory, somatosensory, Timing anomaly detection to sub ms accuracy. Allows for correction in delays between actual and perceived generation of trigger and subsequent presentation of stimuli. Correction of response time inaccuracies.

Stimulus Delivery Software

Fully Supported

  • NBS Presentation

    • Visual and/or auditory
    • Note that Presentation is available at YNiC and is the only primary software stimulus delivery package. We will provide examples of appropriate usage in MEG and MRI (e.g. for triggering from or to the scanners)
  • Psychopy

    • Version 1.75 - discuss with us if you need other versions.

Unsupported

  • Psychtoolbox

    • Note that we are currently investigating making Psychtoolbox a fully supported option
  • E-Prime 2.0

    • Visual (will also do auditory but not our preferred choice)
    • Note that E-Prime is available at YNiC but is not supported. You are welcome to bring your own code but we cannot offer support integrating it with our systems unless prior arrangements are made and/or additional fees are negotiated. We may have examples of appropriate usage in MEG and MRI, but are not obliged to develop and support new implementations without prior negotiation.
  • CRS with Matlab

    • VSG Visage Video Card. High quality visual (including movie files) with impeccable timing control (millisecond accuracy).

Response Capture

  • Lumitouch pads (MEG and MRI)

  • "Peanut" 10 finger ergonomic response box (MEG only)
  • Optical trackball (MRI only)

Co-registration

  • Polhemus fast-track headshape digitisation kit
  • 3D camera co-registration system

Computing Facilities

  • Analysis Hardware
    • HP workstations in open access suite
    • Multi-node computing cluster
  • Analysis Software
  • Stimulus delivery and preparation
    • Windows 7 workstations

What do you get when you use YNiC?

YNiC is committed to helping our users get the most out of their time at the centre. As such, we understand that our responsibility does not start and end simply at the point of data acquisiton, but implicity involves guiding users (especially those new to the technologies) through a number of stages of their project. These include planning, resourcing, implementation and interpretation of data.

Our costs include help from the scientific liaison officers (who will help with advice on planning, applying for scan times, ethics, facilities available), the use of the stimulus delivery equipment, scanning, storage of data on the local servers and use of the data analysis suite of computers as well as the computing cluster.

YNiC has an extensive database of registered volunteers which you may be able to utilise in the recruitment of subjects for your study. We normally advise people to aim for over 16 participants per study but note that some participants will drop out.

Each subject in an MEG experiment usually requires a structural MRI scan for co-registration of MEG data to structural brain anatomy. This also includes a 3D camera picture which greatly aids with accurate MEG/MRI co-registration. If a subject returns for subsequent MEG studies or if the participant is already in the subject database then further structural scans are not required.

A typical single study would take about 1 – 1.5 hours per subject in MEG (including subject preparation and setup) depending on your protocol. More detailed outline of how to calculate the amount of scan time you require per subject is outlined at Understanding Bookings.

We do not perform full analysis for users but are happy to provide training resources for and access to our software on the local machines, technical support and advice via a mailing list system, use of the local resources section of our website and more direct support if needed by appointment.

Other costs covered by fees include scanner and direct support operators salaries, scanner and computer maintenance, scanner and associated IT costs, helium costs for MEG, indirect support staff costs, rent and estate costs, etc.