MRI-Based Research Collaboration

Cooperative study by functional imaging

The NIPS's MRI facilities are used to facilitate collaborative research in two fields: non-destructive three-dimensional observation of biological internal dynamics, and continuous observation of morphological and energy states related to biological activity (including brain activation tests). Experimental research on humans is primarily performed by the Division of Cerebral Integration. The current MRI apparatus, introduced in 2000, generates a 3-Tesla static magnetic field, which is twice as strong as that of conventional MRI systems (1.5 Tesla), and therefore has a distinct advantage in the context of brain-activation experiments in which blood flow is measured. The NIPS MRI facility is characterized by unique applications that enable brain-activation experiments in monkeys, which cannot be achieved at most other laboratories. Moreover, the NIPS facility is capable of conducting a systematic, comprehensive battery of procedures including experimental design, data collection, and statistical analysis of scanned images. Thus, it provides a high-quality research environment capable of meeting a wide variety of the research community's needs, extending far beyond mere collaborative use of the facility. A system for simultaneous high-magnetic field MRI measurement (consisting of two 3-Tesla MRI apparatuses) has been installed based on the FY 2009 national supplementary budget expenditure. This system is promoting groundbreaking research on the neural substrates underlying human social skills, based on the identification of synchronized neural activity in two interacting individuals. Most recently, based on the FY 2013 national supplementary budget expenditure, Ultra high field (7 Tesla) MR system was installed in March 2015.